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Laura Brown’s
Return to NYFW

By Isabelle E, Sept 9, 2021

Surviving NYFW with Laura Brown

Style Assembly member Laura Brown.

New York Fashion Week makes its real-life return this month. For its comeback, we tapped fashion expert and InStyle editor-in-chief Laura Brown to host our Style Assembly. The Australian magazine editor curated a collection of her favorite Rebag accessories for fashion week, and revealed one of her favorite fashion month moments.

Fashion isn’t just our sixth Style Assembly member’s job — it’s her life. Laura Brown’s remarkable career in fashion started in Australia at the age of nine when she was turning bath towels into tops. Today, she is the editor-in-chief of InStyle magazine. On top of that, she somehow finds the time to host a podcast with the noble goal of empowering women called Ladies First. It seems no one is better equipped to be a member of our Style Assembly for the month of September, aka fashion month. Laura graciously took time out of her incredibly packed schedule to curate a collection of Rebag accessories that are sure to please this fashion month. She also answered our questions about the return of NYFW, her favorite memory from the longstanding tradition, and what handbag she can’t seem to get out of her head. Keep reading to get to know the incredible Laura Brown.

How did you first become interested in fashion?

Laura: Ha, when was I not? I do have a vivid memory of trying to fashion a bath towel into a top when I was about nine years old. Then I started voraciously buying two- to three-month-old American Vogues and Harper’s BAZAARs all the way through high school and college. The joke in college was that everybody else bought pot, but I bought magazines.

With NYFW upon us, what are you most looking forward to this year?

Laura: Honestly, I just love seeing such a full calendar, after 18 months of wondering whether we’d ever see shows again. A simple demonstration of the dynamism of NYC, and I love seeing all the new designer names (even if some are showing at my bedtime).

Surviving NYFW with Laura Brown

Last year’s fashion weeks were significantly different from the usual due to COVID-19, nonetheless, what inspired you about this new adaptation of a longstanding tradition?

Laura: There is nothing like a great fashion show — it transports you, inspires you, makes you dream. Like Valentino couture, which I was lucky enough to see in July in Venice. But I am all for less shows, and less pressure and obligation to show. I think you end up with better shows and healthier and happier designers.

What has been your favorite fashion week memory? What did you wear?

Laura: I was living in London in 1999 as a freelance fashion writer and I was somehow invited to an Alexander McQueen show. It was the show where Shalom Harlow was spray painted by two robots, which might — not even hyperbolically — be the greatest fashion show in modern history. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing: better than any concert, anything I could imagine. I can’t remember what I wore: that show wiped my memory.

Surviving NYFW with Laura Brown

What was your first luxury handbag? Tell us about it and how you got it.

Laura: It was a Miu Miu patent mesh maroon and cream shoulder bag that I bought in London. Man, I loved it. Sadly I left it on a chair in a pub in Sydney, and it was stolen. I was absolutely “devvo” (Australian for devastated). My first significant luxury bag as a grown-up, though, was a red Chanel 2.55. It had to be red. Red goes faster.

Surviving NYFW with Laura Brown

As a fashion journalist, you’ve seen many luxury handbags throughout the years. Which one have you not been able to get out of your head?

Laura: I’ve had my head turned by a ton of silly bags over the years, but my favorite is newish. It’s a Chanel gray leather 2.55 with oversized quilting. It kills me. Any on Rebag??

Surviving NYFW with Laura Brown

You curated an incredible collection of your favorite Rebag accessories. Can you share your top five pieces and why you chose them?

Laura: At the end of the day, with accessories at least, I’m a classicist. Chanel jewelry and handbags (perhaps in a pink, for some pop), Cartier watches, Goyard and Saint Laurent pieces. Truly investment dressing.