At Vivienne Tam’s show Sunday, you’re bound to see a bunch of familiar faces hitting the catwalk — and one newcomer you won’t recognize. She’s Taylor McEnery, 20, and just a few weeks ago she was filming a WeChat video in her Chicago home. Now, she’s preparing to walk the runway on one of the biggest fashion stages in the world.
Among the sequins, hairdryers and pounding techno music, technology is becoming an integral part of the New York Fashion Week experience. From Diane Von Furstenberg’s Google Glass experiment to many shows choosing to livestream all over the world, many designers are turning to tech to enhance their presentations.
Tam parterned with the WeChat app to allow girls across the country to submit videos for her consideration before choosing McEnery (who snapped a selfie with the designer for us, above). “She exuded confidence through the photos she sent in and her personality really came through,” Tam tells PEOPLE. “Her answers showed her internal and external beauty, a girl who is very comfortable and can be herself.”
And while McEnery just arrived in NYC this week for her fittings, Tam says she’s confident that her newest model is already ready for the big time. “She is such a natural that there will probably be very little prepping required,” Tam says. “She will be involved though in all the normal model prepping routines such as rehearsals and fittings leading up to the show.
For her part, McEnery is excited to be here. “It has been a whirlwind of nervousness, excitement,” she says. “I’ve been researching everything from former NYFW models to Vivienne’s previous collections. Of course, I’ve been extra keen on practicing my walk.”
So after she makes her debut in front of fashion editors and tastemakers (and her friends back home, on WeChat), what’s next? “Things have been so busy, between prepping for the show and starting school, that I haven’t had a chance to think about my next move just yet,” McEnery says. “Right now, I’m just so excited for this opportunity and I want to give it my full attention. After September 7th, I will start to think about what comes next!”
Excited to see McEnery walk tomorrow? What’s your favorite part of NYFW?