From Denmark to New York: A Fashionista’s Tale

Hudson Valley intern — and Danish style maven — Christina Wonsbeck takes her first bite of the Big Apple

For a fashionista like me, coming to New York City was like entering the door to fashion heaven. Walking down Fifth Avenue, I was amazed by those gorgeous Charlotte-types (from Sex and the City, you know?!) shopping in Saks. I passed by Four Times Square (Vogue’s office — dah!), and dreamed of arriving at this exact spot in a cute Oscar de la Renta outfit and Jimmy Choos, sipping a skinny vanilla machiatto, and flinging open the doors of the Vogue office. As their fashion writer, of course.

But first, my not-so-fashionable act of hoofing it from Grand Central to my hotel on 90th and Lex, hauling my enormous suitcase (weight: 65+ pounds); a handbag containing my laptop, books, and other time-killing things; and three plastic bags with stuff that just wouldn’t fit into my suitcase (damn! I must upgrade my packing skills). I arrived covered in sweat. Why didn’t anyone tell me that the weather would be humid as hell? And why did I decide to save my $10 and walk? And HOW does that woman on the other side of the street pull off long jeans, a shirt, and six-inch Manolos without looking like a sweaty monster like me?

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The first thing I had to do was take a shower… and figure out what to wear to blend in with all those chic New York fashionistas. Is there a New York Style Survival Guide? I need a copy of that. (Please?!) 

I hopped into my black leather shorts, a knitted shirt with metallic details, and black Birkenstocks; put on my Ray Bans; and grabbed my always-faithful Gucci cross-body bag. Sounds chic, right? I saw myself yelling “taxi!” while holding my arm up in the air. Okay, I didn’t have the guts to yell, so I just went with my arm perfectly planted in the air. As I watched the cabs drive by, I got confused: Isn’t this how they do it in the movies?

christina wonsbeck
My first week at Hudson Valley! Top: Designer’s Remix Collection; trousers: Tommy Hilfiger; shoes: Acne Studios; jewelry: Pilgrim; watch: vintage (from Copenhagen); rings: gifts from my parents and my grandmother’s engagement ring 


This was my expression after walking almost 50 blocks

A few seconds later a cab pulled up and, as I walked toward it, two businessmen in perfect black suits darted in. Right. In. Front. Of. Me. That was MY taxi! Maybe I should have just yelled out, so no one in Manhattan would doubt if I needed a cab.

Finally, a kind driver pulled up (he must have sensed my frustration), and the first thing he said was “Well, you’re not a New Yorker!” Like I had the message written on my shirt. Do I really look that much like an outsider? I’m like the female version of Dan in Gossip Girl. He kept going: “See, those two girls aren’t from here either. You won’t see New Yorkers walk or eat — they only ride cabs and drink coffee.” I don’t know if that’s entirely true though. It might have just been his prejudgement, because I’m telling you, with his clear Indian accent, he wasn’t from here either. It was definitely not worth putting into my aforementioned Survival Guide!

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But standing here, in front of Vogue, I started regaining my confidence. I’m absolutely going to survive in this city. Anna Wintour get ready; I’m on my way!

Having told you about my first day in the City, I would like to introduce myself: I’m Christina Wonsbeck, a journalism student from Denmark. I am also a cofounder and editor-in-chief of Emilé Magazine (an e-magazine), and I came to New York to intern at Hudson Valley. I really didn’t know what to expect, but one thing is for sure: It will be an adventure! And I hope you’ll read along this summer.

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