On the tenth anniversary of 9/11, we ask designers and editors at New York Fashion Week to tell us where they were on that tragic morning.
André Leon Talley
"On 9/11, that morning, I was in a Christian Dior Couture appointment at the Hotel Pierre. The Dior ladies were saying there was — on a television in the other room — a plane crashed into the world towers. And I said, 'Oh it must be a helicopter,' and they said no, and they turned on the TV and everything stopped. When we saw it on TV, when they started showing the towers, we left and by the time I got downstairs to the ground floor, I could see the smoke in the air all the way downtown. And I went from the Hotel Pierre walking through the park — I was on the west side trying to get home to Westchester, and I didn't come back to the city for three days. When I got to the west side I managed to get a car."
Stefano Tonchi, Editor-in-Chief of W
"I remember I was in Maine at a shoot, and I think I had a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt on. We were driving to the Maine airport in Portland, and it was closed. The crew and I were in this minivan going from Portland and everybody was crying and crying. It was really terrible. All the hairdressers, and the makeup artists, and the models. We got stranded in Long Island for a couple of days, in the Hamptons, waiting for a train, because that was the closest we could fly to New York."
Prabal Gurung, Designer
"I was in my house in New York and I had an appointment, and I had overslept. And when I woke up and I was rushing to it I got a phone call from my mom. It was shocking. I think everyone's life changed."
Scott Sternberg, Band of Outsiders Designer
"I was in L.A. and it was early in the morning so I was in my bed, just watching the whole thing. My mom called and told me. She lives in Ohio so she was three hours ahead and told me to wake up and turn on the news. I think everybody just sort of sat tight and it was one of those really strangely communal moments where you know that your neighbors and your friends who were far away are all sitting front of the television trying to find out what's going on. I have so many dear friends living in the city, so it was a frantic day tracking them down. A couple of friends lived down in the Financial District and were covered in soot and all that stuff. They're still freaked out to this day but, thank God, everyone was okay."
Joseph Altuzarra, Designer
"I was a freshman at Swarthmore College when it happened. I was in a common room watching TV. The whole day was a little eerie. My father was in New York so we just wanted to make sure he was okay. And he was okay."
Diane Von Furstenberg, Designer and CFDA President
"I was making my breakfast, and opening the New York Times and reading Cathy Horyn's review of my collection and then the first plane crashed, and then the second. This morning I watched the memorial; I thought it was very beautiful. I thought of my girlfriend that I lost. I feel very American today. And yet I'm not really, but today I feel very American. And [today's spring 2012] show is called 'Beginning,' and that's a little bit for that reason. The show is about the dawn, it's about hope, it's about life. It started with Africa, but there's very little Africa left — it's just the inspiration. But the hope, the hope! I'm promoting hope."