Primer: A Field Guide to Fashion Week’s Characters

Twice a year, Fashion Week turns the New York city into an all-out style spectacle. Here's a guide to the cast of characters.

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MILAN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 08: A model walks the runway during the Manila Grace Autumn/Winter 2012 2013 Fashion Show on February 8, 2012 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Stefania D'Alessandro/Getty Images)
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New York's Fashion Week happens Feb. 9 - 16, when the already trendy city's fashion quotient will increase a hundredfold. Here's a guide to some of the folks you may spot rushing about town for previews of next fall's fashions — like this makeup artist and model spotted at last September's Alexander Wang show.
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The Model. Natural Habitat: Runways, catwalks and hair-and-makeup chairs. Handheld Device: Anything that can withstand marathon texting during marathon makeup sessions. Sustenance: The 5 C's: Coffee, Champagne, coconut water, cigarettes and (free) clothes.Uniform: Spring collections (on the runway) or skinny jeans (off the runway).
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The Publicist. Natural Habitat: Around every corner, at every restricted-access threshold. Mode of Transport: "We are a taxi and subway army, no car services here," says agency honcho Patrick Bradbury. Sustenance: Pressure, canapes. Uniform: Black on black, clipboard, earpiece.
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The Editor. Statement Piece: Grace Coddington; impenetrably-dark sunglasses. Mode of Transport: Condé Nast car service; the arms of burly security men. Sustenance: Starbucks, power. Catchphrase: Silence.
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The Fashion Photographer. Handheld Device: DSLR-anything (work), Holga/ lomography cam/ Polaroid (play). Sustenance: Pen tops. Catchphrase: "You're blocking my shot." Distinguishing Marks: Genuflection.
The Street Fashion Photographer Handheld device: DSLR (preferably a Nikon). Sustenance: Gaggles of women vying for their camera's attention, strong working relationships. Defining Trademarks: A photographer's eye and an editor's aesthetic; purposeful wandering with searching once-overs among Fashion Week lines.
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The Fashion Journalist. Natural Habitat: Anywhere a story may be filed, whether it be Starbucks or the newsroom. Handheld Device: Flip cam, scribble-filled Moleskine notebook and pen. Sustenance: The adrenaline of a looming deadline. Distinguishing Marks: A lexicon honed to describe all things sartorial.
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The Real Housewife. Natural Habitat: A step-and-repeat. Sustenance: Anything provided by the network. Statement Piece: Anything from her own line on QVC. Catchphrase: "I have been doing fashion shows for charity for years, and now I'm hawking this new brand of water..."
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The Teen Blogger. Natural Habitat: School, backstage and at non-Fashion Week-related parties downtown. Mode of Transport: Arranged by her parents. Sustenance: A-list adoration, Japanese Pocky sticks and Orangina.
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The Phenom. Natural Habitat: In everyone's good favor; exclusive parties. Uniform: Boyish ensemble of super-skinny jeans, a white T-shirt and greasy locks.nSustenance: Coolness, critical acclaim and support from other it-boy pals.
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The "It" Celebrity. Natural Habitat: The front row; sweaty-but-stylish music festivals; DJ-ing at Fashion Week after-parties. Sustenance: Home-delivered macrobiotic green juices; VIP discounts; being in front of the lens.
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The Local Ingenue. Natural Habitat: Brooklyn or the Village; front row at her friends' shows. Sustenance: Oscar buzz; banh mi sandwiches. Uniform: Her friends' clothes; paparazzi-shielding sunnies.nCatchphrase: "I'm just here to support [insert first name of said designer]."
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The Buyer. Natural Habitat: About town, all over the world, in a shiny new office. Sustenance: Catching up with old magazine friends. Catchphrase: "But how will it sell in the fly-over states?"
Manila Fashion Observer, Gawker
The Intern. Natural Habitat: The fashion closet. Mode of Transport: Her own two feet. Sustenance: Luna bars, Diet Coke and the terror of seeing Anna Wintour in the elevator. Statement Piece: Armloads of samples and dry cleaning. Catchphrase: "If I mess this up, I'm dead."
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The Executive. Natural Habitat: Boardrooms, power lunches. Handheld Device: Two Blackberries: One domestic, one international. Sustenance: Peter Luger steaks, power. Uniform: A Zegna that costs as much as an assistant's salary. Approach: With an exclusive, lucrative collaboration deal or an HR scoop involving their star designer.
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The Celebrity Editor. Natural Habitat: Exclusive parties among regular celebrities. Sustenance: Champagne, double air kisses, Twitter. Uniform: The it-designer ensembles that drive best-dressed lists.
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The Crasher. Natural Habitat: Just shy of the inside, most often just outside Alexander Wang's show. Sustenance: Free food. Catchphrase: "I swear, I'm on the list."
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