When I was first introduced to her under the apple orchard at Kate Spade’s New York Fashion Week activation at Gansevoort Plaza, her makeup was flawless and her hair was laid. “I’m having a Cher moment,” Gossip Girl actress Savannah Smith told me as she ran her Kate Spade ring-studded fingers through her tresses while holding a bottle of sparkling water in the other available hand. We joined in for a quick chuckle before beginning the interview as we walked over away from the live symphony-style music to top off the perfect September brunch vibes the outdoor area was giving.
When asked how her New York Fashion Week experience was going thus far, she shockingly told ESSENCE that this was her first-ever New York Fashion Week. What could’ve been a better introduction than an urban apple orchard to celebrate Kate Spade’s year-long love letter to New York City. Smith, 20, described the activation as “caszh,” which was a shortcut for saying “casual,” and admitted to having a good time.
In addition to a beautiful environment between Ninth Avenue and Hudson Street, Kate Spade New York will be using their apples and the featured apple trees as a donation to Materials for the Arts. According to the press release sent exclusively to ESSENCE, Materials for the Arts is a “New York-based organization whose mission is to collect unused materials for upcycling purposes, keep them out of landfills and give them to thousands of nonprofits and public schools for creative reuse projects.” Though the trees will be repurposed in public green spaces throughout the New York City area, Materials for the Arts will “collect the apples to be donated to local nonprofits, reinforcing the brand’s commitment to reducing waste.”
“Gossip Girl‘s my first thing ever, my first gig, so I’ve never been in Fashion Week. I’ve been dreaming about it since I was a little girl so I’m excited. I think this is a really cool way to kick it off,” Smith said.
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Not only was she able to have her New York Fashion Week debut at Kate Spade, but Smith was also dubbed as an official partner of the Kate Spade NY brand. How does a newcomer on the scene snag such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? “Honestly, I don’t know. They just – I guess they like me,” she said sweetly. As a longtime lover of the iconic fashion brand, Smith has always admired the jewelry and accessories much like the Kate Spade pearl caviar statement earrings and matching pearl caviar statement ring decorating her body. Her maren pumps and big apple cross body added a bit of pizazz to her ponte sleeveless jumpsuit.
“They were like, ‘Do you want to come to Fashion Week?’ And I was like, ‘Sure’,” Smith put it simply. As I complimented her ensemble, she did an impromptu modeling session to show her outfit from head to toe as we both praised the full fit. “It’s cute. It’s giving sleek, but it’s also a day look, but it can also be a night look. That’s what I like about it. I can go out after this.”
With her outfit as a prime example, Smith believes that Kate Spade does a phenomenal job at upping the anty of a minimalistic look. “Kate Spade does a really good job of making simplicity look gorgeous. Classy is the perfect word to describe Kate Spade,” she described the late designer’s lasting impact on the fashion industry. “I like simple. I don’t like wearing a lot of layers. I like very sleek, form-fitting things. She does a great job of catering to a lot of different styles for a lot of different women.”