For those of us covering it, New York Fashion Week is a dizzying eight days of runway shows, appointments, and parties. And while that often means little sleep and lots of hustling, everyone deals differently. Personally, I avoid parties and attempt seven to eight hours of shuteye. I also try not to drink, although late-night dinners mean that I end up downing a margarita or two.
But what about buyers, publicists and designers? Fashion Week schedules vary by individual, but also by profession. While a designer might not be getting much sleep in the days leading up to his show, he's probably not moving around very much either. A buyer, on the other hand, might have a black car escorting her from appointment to appointment, but she's probably doing 10-15 different meetings each day, which means she's still expelling a ton of energy.
Those are mere guesses, because I have no idea how physically draining Fashion Week is for anyone but myself. That was, until now. Jawbone, makers of the UP -- a wearable device that tracks your sleep and activity -- asked a large handful of industry insiders to wear the bracelet during the big Week, and have compiled the data to unveil some interesting findings. Designer Todd Snyder, supermodel Karlie Kloss, Lucky's Laurel Pantin and other big names, from hairstylists to bloggers, participated in the experiment.
Jawbone split the group into four categories -- Tastemakers, Creators, Faces, Stylists -- and tracked their activity over eight days, from February 6-13. The results were in some ways expected, other ways surprising. For instance, it's not a shock that the "faces" -- including models and "personalities" -- clocked the fewest hours of sleep, averaging just four hours per day. (Parties go late, and call times are early!) But they also did the least amount of activity, taking an average 6,814 steps. (Two things to remember on this point: much of a model's time during that week is spent sitting around before that two-minute catwalk moment. And while we're doubtful the models were wearing their Ups on the runway, they were encouraged to clock any activity done without it manually.) Stylists -- which included hairdressers and makeup artists -- on the other hand, moved around more than anyone else, taking a whopping 12,906 steps each day on average and getting about 6.8 hours of sleep each night. Tastemakers -- which included editors, buyers and bloggers-- were careful to rest up, averaging 7.4 hours of sleep and 9,277 steps each day. Creators -- this group consisted of designers only -- unsurprisingly lagged on sleep, but they didn't move around a bunch either: they averaged 5.6 hours of sleep and 9,071 steps each day.
I borrowed a Jawbone Up for Paris Fashion Week, as did stylist Domino Lattès and Colette PR-master Guillaume Salmon. (Jawbone did not compile group data for that time period like they did in New York.) In the nine nights starting with Feb. 25 and ending March 5, I averaged 7.26 hours of sleep. (Some days that meant five hours, other days that meant almost nine.) I also walked quite a bit, averaging 14,062 steps each day. It was my first time sporting some sort of "wearable tech" for more than a few hours, and I should say that overall I found it useful. The goal works -- on days when I wasn't moving so much, I made a point of walking to get coffee, or climbing up the stairs instead of using the elevator. Although I really can't wait until someone makes a version that is all metal -- my look just doesn't jive with rubber of any sort.
Comparing my own data with those in the New York survey gave me a boost of confidence, too. Although it's important to remember: to be able to make like those models and sit on my rear for eight days a few times a year, I'd have to get moving for the rest of it.