Day In the Life: Monika Chiang

By  February 08, 2013

Monika Chiangwho will show her Fall 2013 collection today, caught up with us before Fashion Week to share her daily routine. Here’s how the designer spends her time:

7:00 AM I try to always give myself two and a half hours before I have to be at the office to get through my morning routine. It starts with brewing a pot of coffee, as I squeeze a few lemons and down a shot of the juice. Lemon juice is great for your immune system, especially to rid your body of toxins from the night before and if you haven’t been getting enough sleep – like me! I drink my coffee and try to wake up while I read Women’s Wear Daily.
8:00 AM I throw on my workout clothes and run three blocks to the gym. I do about 30 minutes on the stair climber, while I read the NY Post.
8:30 AM On my way home from the gym, I stop by Juice Press and grab a “raw oatmeal” (which is oatmeal that is soaked rather than cooked, with cashew milk, dates and spices) and a couple of juices that I will sip throughout the day.
8:40 AM On my way home, I visualize what I’m thinking of wearing today. Shower, do my hair and makeup, get dressed and head out.
9:00 AM Grab a cab, still feeling a bit flushed from my morning routine. I pop in my headphones and listen to some chill out music while I reply to emails (today I am getting lots of congrats about Jennifer Hudson wearing us to the Super Bowl), check my social media (more JHud posts – so exciting!) and reply to tweets.
9:30 AM I arrive at my office and check in with my design team for approvals for some pieces we have in development.
10:15 PM Go through some pending interviews, charity projects and upcoming event opportunities with my PR and marketing teams.
10:45 PM Tarek Abbas from Lancôme comes in for a final makeup test. We’ve been working through some ideas. I’m still not sure that we have nailed the eye.
12:00 PM Grab a green juice and join our stylist Zanna Roberts Rassi to review some looks on our fit model. We discuss some ideas that we think will push the edge of the envelope and try out a few adjustments.. We order in salads from Chop’t and eat while we work.
3:00 PM Our market editor from ELLE pops in for a quick preview – she’s loving our outerwear and an embroidered & embellished cocktail dress. Whew! Hopefully all the previews will go that well.
3:45 PM Models are starting to collect in the lobby for our four o’clock casting and all I want to do is go make a tea. I quickly check in with my design and merchandising team, who are in the process of shooting some key looks for our sales team, and then head to the casting session.
4:00 PM Julia Samersova from CAST Inc. NYC and her assistant arrive and immediately begins unpacking all her tonics and remedies. She’s heard that I’ve been feeling like I might be coming down with something and makes me a tea with lemon, honey and Thieves Oil. I’ve never heard of Thieves Oil, but she swears by it and sure enough I start feeling better. She also brought along a stash of mini candy bars – which is right up my alley…perfect balance of healthy and “junky”!

The models start filing in one by one – It’s nice to see some familiar faces from previous seasons and some great new faces. I feel for the girls. It is so cold outside in NYC and they’re all so slim that I imagine they feel it even more.

5:30 PM My E-Com team needs me to step out of the casting and throw on some leather shorts and a pair of sneakers that are 3 sizes too small for a picture they need for an email blast – Oh Joy! Wait! Why can’t one of the models do it?!
7:30 PM After all the girls have left, we arrange our top picks on a board and start calling to put holds on our favorites before we lose them to another designer. I hope we get all the girls we love
8:30 PM Arrive home and order some sushi and udon noodle soup. Pour myself a glass of white wine.
9:30 PM After I eat and clean up, I reply to a few emails while I watch an episode of 60 Minutes from my DVR.
11:15 PM Set my alarm, close my eyes and try to get some shut eye.