1. The first Fashion Week, according to TheFashionista at least, took place in 1943 in New York and was really one publicist's attempt to direct attention to American designers (and away from French designers) during World War II. It was referred to as Press Week. Magazines took notice. And the institution was born.
2. There are no goodie bags. Every once in a while a designer might toss the audience a bottle of cologne or Vitamin Water, but otherwise the seats are always bare.
3. Men don't wear high heels. Despite the proliferation of media outlets that will tell you otherwise, it's as rare as you'd expect. Every season, a fashion student gets dolled-up in Gaga-esque finery in the hopes of securing a much-coveted spot on the street-style blogs, but even the former champion of the look, Bryan Boy, has now turned to suits and shoes. Forget it—it doesn't happen.
4. Kanye West rarely misses a Paris Fashion Week, though he no longer comes armed with a monogrammed Louis Vuitton briefcase … or a monogram-clad entourage.
5. Suzy Menkes, the International Herald Tribune's venerable fashion critic, can often be found sitting in her front-row seat before a show has started, furiously typing her review of the previous show on a laptop. Hers is a work ethic you won't often find in budding writers decades her junior.
6. The real workhorses of the Fashion Week circuit are the catwalk photographers. They're typically Italian, always surly, and prone to violent outbursts—there's always a moment just as the lights go down when they will scream a single message to the audience: "Uncross your legs, please!" (There's nothing they despise more than the audience's feet sullying their pristine runway shots.) Also common: obscenities hurled at models who fail to walk down the center of the catwalk. And one time in Paris before a particularly late-starting Rick Owens show, a photographer sang an operatic solo to entertain the crowd.
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