The first day of NY Fashion Week is my favorite. Usually it is leaner than the others. Even more so in the spring / summer collections now that Fashions Night Out takes up the first night. It is an important one, however, since it sets the tone for the rest of the week. The last few years have been tough on the industry and you can see it clearly in the shows. The top runway models rarely show up except for bigger shows. Designers who used to have elaborate sets go with small, plain runway shows or even go missing from the tents completely. Even the designs themselves become safer and more mainstream. So at the first few shows, I’m always looking forward to see how they will be presented. With all that it’s also a day of catching up with old friends. Since I don’t shoot much of the international circuit anymore it feels like a family reunion whenever I go to the first shows. When you work in the photography pits, the many trials and tribulations that everyone goes through help build friendships that last a lifetime.