Why Caroline Issa Goes to Fashion Week

'Tank' magazine founder, street style star, consultant and designer Caroline Issa tells us why she goes to shows and how street style can be a marketing platform.
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'Tank' magazine founder, street style star, consultant and designer Caroline Issa tells us why she goes to shows and how street style can be a marketing platform.
Caroline Issa at New York Fashion Week. Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Caroline Issa at New York Fashion Week. Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Thousands of people attend fashion week every season, but why do they go? Does their job require them to be there? What are they looking for? We seek to answer these questions in a series of short profiles leading into New York Fashion Week. Next up: consultant, 'Tank' founder and fashion director, street style star and designer Caroline Issa

What's your strategy for fashion week? How do you decide which shows to see?

I try to see as much as I possibly can fit into a day. In my role as a fashion editor I’m always on the lookout for great new talent so I try to see as many new designer collections, whether that’s a presentation or a runway show, as possible, and then obviously I want to see what all the big established brands are doing.

You do a lot, from consulting to editing to running a business. How do you handle your regular workload during fashion week?

I don’t know if I’m handling it that well, you just become a master juggler. Sometimes jet lag works in your favor so I wake up really early and do my emails in the morning and I’m running around. I mean, technology, thank god for it. It’s like a savior for all of us who are juggling shows plus your regular workload.

What's your main reason for going to fashion week? What do you feel you get out of it?

I go to the shows because that’s what our business is about; it’s about supporting young talent; it’s about showcasing creativity and the main bit of my business is publishing a magazine and our readers, they want a balance of what Dior is doing alongside what Tome is doing. It's more about discovery, getting inspired, what shows inspire you to create an amazing photo shoot for the next season. I come to get inspired, to learn more and figure out who we can support.

You've also become a regular subject for street style photographers. Are there benefits to that? Is that something you think about when you're getting dressed?

Photographers have taken fashion insiders much more in the public eye and I’ve definitely been one of those people. I don’t think I feel more pressure but I definitely understand the amazing opportunities that it’s brought me and the benefits for a magazine like Tank where we have literally no marketing. More people get to hear about it because there happens to be a street style picture about me, in the same way that I’m so happy to be able to now wear some of my own clothes and for people to be able to literally buy that from Nordstrom.com. It’s an interesting way of connecting everything that I do. But I try not to , I don’t let the idea of street style dictate how I dress and how I run around through shows and, you know, I have no time to do my hair... I try to live my life daily and realistically. I love a heel but if it’s going to be snowing next week you’re going to see me in winter boots. It’s just kind of an added benefit, the marketing platform that street style gives you, but I’m not really influenced by it.