When you watch a runway show, your attention is set on the designs coming down the catwalk, and rightfully so, but there is so much more that goes into runway production than first meets the eye–and a number of dedicated individuals backstage that made it all happen. We had the chance to catch up with Fashion Creative and Fashion Show Director, DaNisha Greene, to uncover how she made her way in fashion and what it takes to make it in the industry. Here’s what she had to say!
Hey, girl! Thanks for taking the time to sit down and chat with us! You’ve worked with Midwest Fashion Week for many years but for those that don’t know you, why don’t you share a little bit about yourself.
Well, I’m originally from New York, but moved to Indianapolis, and now I’m back in New York. After graduating college with a bachelor’s degree in Radio & TV production, I found myself stuck in customer service jobs which were not my passion, nor fulfilling. Throughout high school and college I was always involved in the fashion shows at my schools. I collected hundreds of vogue magazines and would watch Fashion TV everyday. I loved watching the behind-the-scenes shows, interviews and docu-series.
So, you always had a passion for fashion–how did you finally make it a career?
Five years after graduating, I found myself wanting to pursue my passion in TV and fashion. My cousin was a music artist and shooting his second music video, so I asked him to let me cast the models. I not only cast the models, but booked hairstylist, makeup artists and pulled from designers to dress the models. When they arrived it was a full on production. Thinking back, the irony of it all was that I didn’t even style or focus on the artists in the video, just the models.
Kudos to you for going after what you wanted! Now that you’ve been involved for a while, what does your role in the industry look like?
As a Backstage Director and or Fashion Show Director, I’m pretty much in charge of everything that’s happening backstage to ensure an efficient and professional runway show. I could be considered or compared to a project manager in certain industries. I have to manage the models, hairstylists, makeup artists, volunteers, interns, designers, and work with the front-of-house manager, as well. A backstage Director is responsible for ensuring the producer of the show, designer, brand or organization that has hired them doesn’t have to worry about the actual management of the fashion show. We also have to communicate any logistical issues with lighting, staging and front-of-house functions needed to ensure the show runs smoothly. A lot of people don’t understand the dedication, work ethic and sacrifice it takes to put on a fashion show. They see the glamorous side, but they don’t understand the perseverance and hard work that it takes to actually produce a fashion collection and/or organize and coordinate a full on professional production.
That sounds like a lot of hard work! What accomplishment are you most proud of so far?
I’m very proud that some of my work has been featured in Vogue Italia and I’m also extremely proud of the work I did in Paris with Midwest Fashion Week. I’ve also had billboards, produced and creatively directed campaign ads for various brands and have been published internationally and nationally in many fashion publications. Those experiences are immeasurable and just helps solidify that all of the hard work I’ve done throughout the US and Paris are truly accomplishments to be proud of.
One more thing–what trends are you most looking forward to this Fall?
This fall and winter trends I’m looking forward to is really a repeat of animal prints and python. I’m truly enjoying all of the brands fresh take on the classic prints. The other trend I’m loving is the resurgence of oversized pieces. I definitely love interesting shapes and fun twists on classics.