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How Did I Get Here - Nathan Watson

. 5 min read
How Did I Get Here - Nathan Watson

TO BE HONEST as soon as Joseph asked me to take part in this project, I felt ecstatic. I believe that this project can have an impact. Laid off millennials coming together to challenge the issues of todays world: through culture. For me, there is an element of awe. To think about the potential that a creative collective has in a time of job and social insecurity; it is nonetheless a silver lining, a momentum to freely express a creative innovation and resistance. So how am I going to contribute? What do I want to say? And how in the world am I going to engage with others that would seem remotely interesting? So, I started brainstorming the conversations I wanted to have with people associated in my industry—fashion. I hoped that they would be a source of inspiration. How are they surviving? How do they expect the fashion calendar to change? How will brick and mortar adapt? Shit I can’t deny hoping that this pandemic would halt logomania.  But as soon as I started writing I hit a wall and anxiety started marching in like the ants on a watermelon;  first one or two, and then before I knew, the whole colony had taken over. WHAT. THE. FUCK. IS GOING ON! Then I realized what I wanted my first piece to convey—all these thoughts swirling in my head (I will go ahead and apologize now). I needed to get them out. I finally found the peace of mind to sit down and reflect. Everything I am experiencing right now, right in this moment, is different from the individual six feet in front of me wearing a hazmat suit at WholeFoods.  Isn’t there a word for that? Sonder? This compelling sonder ultimately motivated me to reach out to some of my friends in fashion. What was going on outside of my shoebox apartment? What nuanced experiences are being hidden from me? I got on a call with a few colleagues to tell them about this project and each one of them, with the same tone and emotion as the last, implored me to move forward with this. Many commented that they would love to support, offer up resources, and some even lent a voice.

It seemed hopeful that a collective people somehow found a way to keep the steam engine running. The content producers on this project began interviewing friends, colleagues and industry leaders to write pieces. I’ll be cheesy for a damn second and say that it was actually inspiring to see this unfold right before me. So now that I got you all caught up, you must be hoping that this isn’t a “come together” piece or an off-off-broadway version of Gal Gadot’s off-broadway Imagine music video. Nah. I’m not writing an end of high school Gandhi, “be the change,” persuasive essay. I am simply writing because I am not going to fucking therapy over FaceTime and I need to get this all out on paper. I simply want to jot my thoughts down. That is what I want to write about. My mind is like a hamster wheel.

Some thoughts

I want a beer. And not a beer from my fridge, but one poured from the bar that I curse at every night for keeping me up. I never thought I’d say this, but I kinda miss their shitty live-music. Even The Black Keys wannabes that seem to get louder and louder as the hours pass midnight. I want pizza by the slice. My roommates and I singlehandedly kept Joe’s on Bedford Ave in business. I want to mumble curse words under my breath because the guy on the subway is to close to me (am I missing his closeness?). I want to send a photo of the guy reading George Orwell’s 1984, to everyone on snapchat and caption it “DTF?” I want to go to a club and get shit-faced and make-out with hot random men. And I want him to buy me a drink at the bar. But not the same bar across my apartment. That’s the bar you take a date when you know it’s not going to last. I want to go to Fire Island and lay out on the beach naked. I want to go to McCarren Park and see which baseball teams are winning. I WANT A FRESH BAGEL. Preferably from Frankel’s in Greenpoint. Jesus! Their whitefish salad on the everything bagel will make you want to slap your momma. I want to run into Patti Smith in the East Village and tell her I love her for the fifteenth time. Speaking of… has anyone checked on her? I need an update. I want to complain about there being too many people in Soho. I want to go to the cinema. I want to rudely stare at the sidewalk-hogs. I want to hear all the neighborhood gossip from Alex, the counter worker, at the bodega. We have a handshake so you know the bromance is real. I want to go to art museums.

I love New York. It is the city of resilience. The city that aligns its clock to have you run into all three of your ex’s all before your morning cup of coffee. I will say it has been nice knowing who is taking quarantine seriously—I simply open up Grindr and see which one of my 30 gay neighbors have been shuffled on the grid. Like are you just going to the bodega or are you currently in a gang bang with user’s BEAR&hung, RM, **star emoji** and Jake. Because yesterday you were all at different distances and today you all have magically become 237 feet away. I saw a meme that said the people not taking the quarantine seriously are the same people to go first in a zombie apocalypse. Sorry BEAR&hung, RM, **star emoji** and Jake it just had to be said.

Where was I and how did we get to this topic?

Oh yeah, New York. I love New York. It is the fashion capital of America, the home to my industry; there is no humility in my deep and devoted attraction to it. I know that the city will bounce back from this. I know that my industry will bounce back from this. But I also know that fashion may radically change. What that looks like—who the fuck knows. But when I write, hopefully I will be able to explore some of those changes. For now I remain curious. Is logomania finally gone? Is TheRealReal going to run out of Birkins? Will Maria Grazia Chiuri step away from Dior? Can Phoebe Philo save us all? What would Karl Lagerfeld do? Are people still anticipating the next Supreme drop? What are creatives doing? Will COVID-19 take brick-and-mortar as a casualty? Will there ever be another fashion show? Can virtual reality fill the void? Who is going to mend the gap between retailers and customers? SO MANY QUESTIONS. My hope is that you become curious enough to join me on my quest for answers. I am excited to bring these conversations to you. I am optimistic. I think that as creative people we will all continue to prevail. For now I’m signing off. I have some trash reality tv to catch up on. I have the sonder to tend too.

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