News & Runway

Fashion Week on a Budget with Cheap Chica’s Lilliana Vazquez


The signs of summer may still be lingering — a fading tan line, iPhone pics of an epic holiday, one last wedding in the books — but for the New York fashion set, fall is already upon us, as designers, editors and style fans citywide gear up for the impending NYFW. Never mind we still have Labor Day to get through; the Fashion Week vet knows she must plan her wardrobe now.

But what happens when a summer of fun has left a searing hole in the pocket of your J Brand jeans? I caught up with Cheap Chica’s Lilliana Vazquez (you may know her from Access Hollywood, E! News and The Today Show) to learn how to reign your (imaginary) runway while still saving cash for a post-show cocktail (very, very necessary).

Julie Bensman: How will you be spending this upcoming NYFW?

Lilliana Vazquez: I plan on covering a few of the shows for New York Live on NBC 4 and also attending some of my favorites just for fun!

JB: What are some of those favorites?

LV: I always look forward to Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta each season — not just because they're the epitome of feminine elegance, but also because as a Latina growing up in Texas, they were the ones who inspired me to become part of this amazing industry.

JB: What are your secrets to staying chic during the craziness of fashion week?


  1. Pack flats and a protein bar (I love Kind Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Granola Bars).
  2. Remember the clothes are the stars so don’t try to compete with the shows themselves. Many attendees now view Fashion Week as a platform for getting “discovered” for their street style. It’s not about that!
  3. Pace yourself. Fashion Week is a marathon, not a sprint. Between the shows, backstage activities, lounges, pre-parties, dinners and after-parties, you can wear yourself out in a few days. Pick and choose what you really want to do and you can go the distance.

JB: What if I'm on a budget? Any style tips?

LV: Focus on separates in one color palette, so you can remix your pieces and create different looks for various events, day or night. No one needs to buy a completely new Fashion Week wardrobe!

JB: Tell me what's in your handbag, the essentials you never leave home without?

LV: Armour lipgloss, Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder and Aqua Eyes eyeliner in 21L. Oh, and a Powermate Plus!

JB: Great tips! Can we expect more from your new book, The Cheap Chica’s Guide to Style, coming out this November?

LV: Readers will enjoy a fun conversation about challenging yourself to save when it comes to fashion, plus practical advice on styling and shopping like an expert. I can't wait!

JB: And finally, let us in on the Cheap Chica’s Golden Rule: When in doubt, always remember _________?

LV: No one ever has to know what you paid!


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