Cedric DeCarlo Gray smiled as he exited Rolando Santana's fashion show. He reminded me of the Sapeurs from Brazzaville with his beautifully spun earth toned accessories around his very bold jacket, jeans and shirt. "Fashion is creativity, it's a way of expressing ones individuality. More than anything else it is a lifestyle. It represents who I am as an individual. When someone sees me I want them to see a well polished, and maverick man." Cedric was wearing Gucci accessories, Zara Black, Joes Jeans and Gucci shoes and the bag, Bleeker bag by coach men.

Cedric DeCarlo Gray smiled as he exited Rolando Santana's fashion show. He reminded me of the Sapeurs from Brazzaville with his beautifully spun earth toned accessories around his very bold jacket, jeans and shirt. "Fashion is creativity, it's a way of expressing ones individuality. More than anything else it is a lifestyle. It represents who I am as an individual. When someone sees me I want them to see a well polished, and maverick man." Cedric was wearing Gucci accessories, Zara Black, Joes Jeans and Gucci shoes and the bag, Bleeker bag by coach men.

Revolving door. Brianna is followed by Timbo and Donnell as they head out to hail a taxi on their way to Lincoln Center.

Revolving door. Brianna is followed by Timbo and Donnell as they head out to hail a taxi on their way to Lincoln Center.

Proverbs Taylor an up and coming New York recording artist who also goes by the name Illmatic Scream is making the rounds to a few of the fashion houses, "for inspiration. "Fashion is the way you express yourself. It is a way of making connections with garments. Whether it is something pricey from an established designer or a hoodie from the hood, even the controversial fur, clothes and fashion expresses a feeling that can inspire my music."

Proverbs Taylor an up and coming New York recording artist who also goes by the name Illmatic Scream is making the rounds to a few of the fashion houses, "for inspiration. "Fashion is the way you express yourself. It is a way of making connections with garments. Whether it is something pricey from an established designer or a hoodie from the hood, even the controversial fur, clothes and fashion expresses a feeling that can inspire my music."

Lori Land is a stylist and buyer for her Churchill Boutique in Mount Kisko, Westchester New York. She believes that fashion is a way of life that not only speak about a person but also speaks to the people around her. "I thrive off the energy of clothing and what it does for people. I see where clothing makes people come alive and gives them purpose but not in a shallow way. Dressing someone is an art form for me," she said. As she made her way to see the Tracy Reese Collection she told me that she was wearing a Rag and Bone dress, boots by Christian Louboutin, vintage coat from Paris, Wolford tights and her bag was from Chanel Boy Bag. "Tracy makes ethnic look beautiful. She is able to put a her southern roots with classic styles and make a woman look classy. Love her work," she said.

Lori Land is a stylist and buyer for her Churchill Boutique in Mount Kisko, Westchester New York. She believes that fashion is a way of life that not only speak about a person but also speaks to the people around her. "I thrive off the energy of clothing and what it does for people. I see where clothing makes people come alive and gives them purpose but not in a shallow way. Dressing someone is an art form for me," she said. As she made her way to see the Tracy Reese Collection she told me that she was wearing a Rag and Bone dress, boots by Christian Louboutin, vintage coat from Paris, Wolford tights and her bag was from Chanel Boy Bag. "Tracy makes ethnic look beautiful. She is able to put a her southern roots with classic styles and make a woman look classy. Love her work," she said.

June Ambrose and her daughter braved the cold and the weather report that New York was in for another snow shower for what she said was a show she couldn't miss. "A Tracy Reese show is unforgettable. It is alive, there is a spirit in her work that says I am every woman."

Rachel Bare a freelance fashion stylist on her way to look at Tracy Reese's collection simply said, "The reality of fashion is that it is wearable art."

Kelsey Ferguson chose Fashion Week as the prime time to visit New York City and interview for positions as a stylist. She came from Seattle with the hope of finding a career in the fashion industry. "I am here because fashion is a way to express how you feel. It's art, it's whatever, it's fun it makes you do what you want. It doesn't matter what people think. That is the spirit I would like to bring to the fashion industry," she remarked.

Kelsey Ferguson chose Fashion Week as the prime time to visit New York City and interview for positions as a stylist. She came from Seattle with the hope of finding a career in the fashion industry. "I am here because fashion is a way to express how you feel. It's art, it's whatever, it's fun it makes you do what you want. It doesn't matter what people think. That is the spirit I would like to bring to the fashion industry," she remarked.

Channing Hargrove likes the history of fashion. She believes that fashion can be used to give the world context and holds real stories about the world we are living in. Today Channing was on her way to look at Barbara TFank's collection. "This designer seeks to bring back opulence, It's like hearkening back to a time when ladies look like ladies," she said smiling.

Channing Hargrove likes the history of fashion. She believes that fashion can be used to give the world context and holds real stories about the world we are living in. Today Channing was on her way to look at Barbara TFank's collection. "This designer seeks to bring back opulence, It's like hearkening back to a time when ladies look like ladies," she said smiling.

Steven Dolan moved with a kind of statuesque grace down the sidewalk before stopping for my camera. His sculpted face and clothes looked like a perfect blending of John Paul Gaultier with Barbara TFank. "Fashion is what gets me out of bed," he quipped.

Steven Dolan moved with a kind of statuesque grace down the sidewalk before stopping for my camera. His sculpted face and clothes looked like a perfect blending of John Paul Gaultier with Barbara TFank. "Fashion is what gets me out of bed," he quipped.

Jaybee would consider himself a well dressed cat. The retired accountant told me that these days there is nothing better than going into his closet, picking a suit and taking walks in Brooklyn. "I like fashion. I like making my own too, like this hat. It was one that I asked a neighbor to make recently. She was old and died before she could finish making the suit for it. These days I enjoy wearing it with anything. I have a weird style." When asked how he felt about fashion in 2014 he said, "I still follow fashion but I don't really like it. It is not unique anymore, too many copy cat," he said.

Jaybee would consider himself a well dressed cat. The retired accountant told me that these days there is nothing better than going into his closet, picking a suit and taking walks in Brooklyn. "I like fashion. I like making my own too, like this hat. It was one that I asked a neighbor to make recently. She was old and died before she could finish making the suit for it. These days I enjoy wearing it with anything. I have a weird style." When asked how he felt about fashion in 2014 he said, "I still follow fashion but I don't really like it. It is not unique anymore, too many copy cat," he said.

Alyona Shishmareva was racing to her next gig at the Guiletta show on 18th Street when I stopped her. "I haven't slept more than two hours per day since the shows started. There are so many shows, and they want you to get from uptown to the west side highway in no time," the model said. "It's hectic especially when they expect you to wash your hair after each event," she continued with a chuckle. The model who hails from Russia said that she has not been able to catch up on any of the events from Sochi. "But I am not complaining though."

Alyona Shishmareva was racing to her next gig at the Guiletta show on 18th Street when I stopped her. "I haven't slept more than two hours per day since the shows started. There are so many shows, and they want you to get from uptown to the west side highway in no time," the model said. "It's hectic especially when they expect you to wash your hair after each event," she continued with a chuckle. The model who hails from Russia said that she has not been able to catch up on any of the events from Sochi. "But I am not complaining though."

Donnell Kie believes that fashion is seriously important. It's a way of life for him and many. "Fashion is art. You can use fashion as a way to say who you are without speaking. I think about fashion every day. My fashion choices can change daily depending on how I'm feeling. Fashion is unavoidable. It's a part of everyone's life, whether they want to admit it or not," Kie said.

Donnell Kie finds most of his clothes at Urban Outfitters and other vintage stores. Today he wore shoes by Aldo, leather pants by Cheap Monday, leather vest by Echo and his coat pictured above is from Those Days. Donnell and his friends travelled from Washington D.C. in search of inspiration for their future careers in fashion.

Donnell Kie finds most of his clothes at Urban Outfitters and other vintage stores. Today he wore shoes by Aldo, leather pants by Cheap Monday, leather vest by Echo and his coat pictured above is from Those Days. Donnell and his friends travelled from Washington D.C. in search of inspiration for their future careers in fashion.

Briana Faulker's interest is in jewelry and accessories. Her desire is to open up her own business with an emphasis on accoutrements. Brianna came to New York City with friends Donnell and Timbo to be a part of the energy of fashion week.

Adam Livermore has watched the fashion industry go through its changes over this past decade and loves what he sees. "Fashion is a wonderful way to express yourself by decorating your body. We are now getting away from what was a luxurious vision of what fashion use to represent and back to a place where everyone can enjoy it. Take for instance hair, it is less decadent than say 10 years ago. In 2000 it was all about extensions, now I think we are finding ourselves again."

Adam Livermore has watched the fashion industry go through its changes over this past decade and loves what he sees. "Fashion is a wonderful way to express yourself by decorating your body. We are now getting away from what was a luxurious vision of what fashion use to represent and back to a place where everyone can enjoy it. Take for instance hair, it is less decadent than say 10 years ago. In 2000 it was all about extensions, now I think we are finding ourselves again."

Timbo Minkailu said that he shops everywhere. "I shop at thrift stores, consignment shops, online, and in stores but I'm more into recreating my own look. Making old clothes look new and fresh is a passion of mine. This week has been amazing so far. I met a lot of people who are truly lovers of fashion. I also got inspiration from other people." Timbo is wearing shoes by Doc Martens, pants by Corpus Urban Outfitters, fur by INC international concept, and coat by Larry Levine. He also chose to use vintage jewelry to accentuate his outfit.

Co.Create

Damn, New York! Check Out Real NYC Style On The Streets During Fashion Week

Photographer Ruddy Roye has taken over our Instagram, filling it with stunning street style.

While fashion week unfolds at Lincoln Center next year’s trends are being created on the streets. Brooklyn-based photographer Ruddy Roye has been capturing the street style innovators walking the asphalt runways of New York’s five boroughs and spilling out of the “tents” during Fashion Week--and sharing it all via our Instagram feed.

Roye, a photojournalist and self-described "Instagram activist," has been capturing people on the streets of New York for years, often showing his followers a look at the city they might not otherwise see.

In addition to shooting portraits of New Yorkers, Roye has captured the style of the Congolese "Sapeurs" and Jamaican dancehall culture. He took over The New Yorker's Instagram feed in October of 2012 with his images taken during Hurricane Sandy.

"Photography," says Roye, "is finding a piece of me in the eyes or essence of everyone and everything I photograph. It has always been a collaborative effort. I think if you are true to the thing that motivates you, then you can stimulate that in the things and people you are trying to get it from. Like everything has its reflection."

Did anything surprise him about shooting the people of Fashion Week? "I think seeing how a city can galvanize and come together always fascinates me. Like natural disasters, like around 9/11, I find solace in the fact that it is something we can still do. I just can't wait to see us do the same around poverty, homelessness, hunger and a host of other social ills."

Follow Fast Company’s Instagram feed to see Roye's images of New York style and contribute your own looks by tagging your photos with #RealStyleNY.

In the gallery above, see the amazing images--and stories-- of self-styled fashionistas captured by Roye's lens.

Proverbs Taylor: "Fashion is the way you express yourself. It is a way of making connections with garments. Whether it is something pricey from an established designer or a hoodie from the hood, even the controversial fur, clothes and fashion expresses a feeling that can inspire my music."
[Photos by @Ruddyroye for Fast Company]

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