Survival of the Fittest

for The Brooklyn Paper
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BK Fashion Week(end) may be over, but designer Sena is probably still recovering. Here, the Downtown Brooklyn resident shares a page from her BK Fashion Week(end) diary and lets us know just how much work it takes to make clothes that look this good.

Thursday, March 15

7 am: My day begins with the sun. My mom always said, “Early to rise makes a woman healthy, wealthy and wise.”

7:45 am: Make my own berry juice. I drink half a cup and then feed my animals (seven cats and two dogs).

8:30 am: Drive to my showroom with Sunny (Pitbull) and Mooney (Rottweiler). I can’t imagine going to work without them.

9:30 am: First appointment of the day. Review samples with Luba, my seamstress. I am not ready for full-time employees yet. They come when needed.

Noon: Drink lots of water. No time to nurse a headache. No time for lunch.

1–4 pm: Model fittings. Misty brings her newborn girl. Mooney is in awe of the baby.

2:30 pm: Carmen, a seamstress, brings me a green smoothie from Healthy Living.

5:20 pm: Make a stop at Aura to pick up some steamed veggies. Eat in the car.

6–10:30 pm: Play rehearsal. I’m in “The Crooner” at the Nuyorican Cafe.

11:15 pm: Return to the showroom to send out more emails. Need to revise invitations because the show location changed.

2 am: Arrive home.

3 am: Fall asleep.

Friday, March 16

7 am: Wake up.

7:30 am: Drink water. Email photographers and videographer.

9:45 am: Arrive at my showroom.

10 am: Carmen arrives. Show her dresses that need alterations so that she can begin sewing.

2 pm: Call Aura to order lunch. Usually, I bring lunch from home, but did not have time to prepare anything. I’m a vegetarian.

3 pm: Model Danie Burris comes for a first and final fitting.

4:40 pm: Run to Galaxy to pick up a fake fur winter coat.

5 pm: Walk my dogs. Order dinner at Aura.

5:30 pm: Carmen has finished sewing all of the changes. She is a master. I love her!

6–10:30 pm: Play rehearsal.

11:20 pm: Return to showroom to do some PR and answer emails.

1:30 am: Leave to go home. It’s snowing!

1:45 am: The snow on the roof of my Jeep collapses on the windshield! I can’t see so I get out of the car to clean it off. I close the door not realizing that ALL of my doors were locked. I was trying to keep the dogs warm and ended up locking myself out! The motor is running and my dogs are inside of the car along with my purse and cell phone.

2:10 am: A police car rolls by.

2:45 am: Three taxis roll by.

3:15 am: A sanitation truck stops. Finally. He calls AAA. All towing phones are busy. He waits with me for 30 minutes, then leaves. No locksmith. No AAA.

3:55 am: Still standing in the cold. I refuse to walk to Dunkin Donuts and leave the dogs alone while the car is running. I understand that this is a spiritual test. Now I am ready and prepared for what lies ahead.

4:30 am: A snooping doorman reluctantly lets me use his phone to call AAA. The wait time is 90 minutes

4:40 am: After seeing my tears, the doorman then calls a locksmith. He shows up in 10 minutes.

4:43 am: Locksmith opens my door in three. He is cute, too!

6 am: I’m finally home. I chill for an hour and talk on the phone.

Saturday, March 17

3:30–5 pm: Go to Danskin for thick black tights for the models to wear in my fashion show.

7 pm: I drive to my showroom to prepare for tomorrow’s show. I finalize the model lineup, and organize each outfit accordingly.

2:30 am: Head back to Brooklyn and rest.

Sunday, March 18

7:45 am: Sautee mushrooms in coconut water while cleaning the kitchen.

Noon: Arrive at Borough Hall on time. Unpack the garments and clothing and go inside. Just imagine, the courtroom served as a dressing room where we also did hair and makeup.

1:45 pm: I nibbled on an apple and a bite-sized bagel with cream cheese.

2:30 pm: Backstage supervising and helping models get dressed.


4:30 am: Stumble out of my after party at a top-secret location.

— As told to Dana Johnson

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