It’s been a decade since blogger Tavi Gevinson caused a stir by wearing an oversize bow to sit front row at Dior in 2013, and fashion editors are still fighting over who belongs at the shows. This past season, I’ve noticed a shift in this kind of complaining. It’s no longer just about who's there; it’s about how much they deserve it. Do they have distinct personal style? Are they helping tell the story the brand is telling? Are they Rachel Sennott?
Seriously, I've been asking editors and insiders about the most exciting person they saw at the shows, and the name that keeps coming up is Sennott's—along with those of her co-stars and friends Ayo Edebiri and Molly Gordon, who one fashion editor described to me as a “dream blunt rotation.” (Same.) At least five different people told me that they were celebrating the end of New York Fashion Week by finally going to see Sennott’s latest film Bottoms, which came out at the end of August. One friend said the thought of going to see the film early Saturday night at the Angelika Theater was the “absolute only thing” keeping her mental health in check. (Also same.)
I got to ask Sennott some questions, too; we chatted the morning after she attended the Kering Foundation’s Caring for Women Dinner as a guest of Balenciaga. When I inquired about what her fashion week was like, she said, “It was really crazy and it feels very special.”
The most “wild” thing to her is going to New York shows on the same streets she walked as a freshman at NYU, back when she didn’t get those kind of invites. “When you first get to NYU, you Google 'fashion' for the first time in your life and think, 'Whoa, this is crazy,'” she said.
Sennott started college in 2014. “Which is right around when Demna was first with Balenciaga and Kim Kardashian was wearing the clothes," she tells me. "Her style was changing. I remember that was the first time I was really taking in fashion.”
Being invited to an event by Balenciaga was never really part of her plan, “I didn't ever dream that I would be able to be a part of this.” But there she was on Tuesday night, sitting alongside Kardashian herself, along with Nicole Kidman, Christy Turlington, and Isabelle Huppert. She wore a custom Balenciaga dress in black that wrapped around her torso with the taughtness of Saran Wrap before you tear it open.
“I think Balenciaga’s clothes are really hot. And there's a little bit of drama, which I love,” she said before laughing. “Obviously, I love drama. And they tell a story. It's very cohesive—with the shoes and the jewelry and the bag.”
Now, Sennott is also part of the story Demna is trying to tell. Unlike many brands, Balenciaga doesn't just support whoever is trending—their choice of celebrity faces feels far more deliberate. Demna even wrote in the show notes for his spring 2023 collection, “Fashion loves boxes and labels more than anything. Putting luxury fashion into the box of polished, exclusive, and visually expensive is limited and pretty old school. Individualism in fashion is downgraded to pseudo trends dictated by a post in stories of some celebrity of the moment.”
A comedian as well as an actress with an unfussy authenticity about her, Sennott doesn’t fit into the fashion boxes we’re used to. Funny women like Ziwe, who is often seen at Loewe events, and Chloe Fineman, who has modeled for downtown New Yorker favorite Batsheva, seem to be a new fashion frontier. Demna has been called a trickster and a saboteur—he’s funny too!—but he's smart and in tune with what people want, in a way that makes you think that of course Sennott would be one of his girls.
It’s not hard to see why everyone is rooting for her, either. Her big personality shines through the phone, even one hour before her flight to Los Angeles. She apologizes for her raspy voice that “makes [her] sound like a ninety-year-old smoker” and raves about being in the same room as Oprah, the speaker at Kering’s dinner. “She's just so smart...God, I'm saying the most obvious thing—Oprah is smart—but it was just really, really powerful being in the same room as her!” It’s funny to hear her gush about someone the way I heard people gush about her after the Sandy Liang or Proenza Schouler show, like “Did you see Rachel Sennott was HERE?”
Most people’s Instagram bios feel like weird condensed resumes, but hers feels right: “sexy, and unique.” She's the rare thing a room full of opinionated editors, influencers, buyers, and publicists can collectively gag on. Rachel Sennott isn’t just for the girls, she’s for the fashion girls—and she's clearly becoming one herself.
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