Steven Onoja Goes Behind the Scenes at NYFWM

Now that New York Fashion Week has come to a close, I am excited to look back at one of my favorite shows from one of my favorite American designers, Joseph Abboud. Despite the ups and downs that can occur throughout fashion week, this particular experience was one of the more enjoyable ones for me. More specifically, I really enjoyed partnering up with Joseph Abboud, who is an expert in custom suiting, classic tailoring, and American heritage.

First stop: Joseph Abboud Custom Suits.

The past few years I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with Joseph and create my very own custom suit in celebration of his new collection. The beauty of a custom suit is being part of the creative process and knowing it’s uniquely made for you. A custom suit is an investment piece, so if you decide to go for it, ideally you should choose practical fabrics and have fun with the styling. Luckily Joseph makes it easy—fabrics from his new collection are perfection.

Included in my invitation to Joseph’s FW18 runway show for NYFWM was an incredible illustration of me in my custom suit by artist Bill Rancitelli. For years I have admired the art of traditional design illustration, and it was a true honor to be sketched by one of the greats.

Next stop: Joseph’s Fall/Winter 2018 runway show at the Men’s New York Fashion Week.

This year I had the opportunity to cover the pre-show show hustle, so I managed to lug around my Sony a7R II to capture my point of view. (Some Fashion Week advice: If you have a good seat and are able to get a great shot with your camera, do it! Just make sure you don’t stand up and knock people over for the shot.)

Overall, my absolute favorite part of the collection was the immaculate styling. Each look that came down the runway brought to mind the sartorial aesthetic of Boardwalk Empire—burgundy coats, windowpane double breasted suits, embroidered details, 6-button jackets, and wool trousers tailored to perfection. Not only can you see the quality of the fabrics, but the full presentation of the collection—from venue and music, to styling and inspiration— was right on point. This was easily one of my favorite shows.

Every year, Joseph manages to surprise and delight with his unique innovations on classic menswear. Behind each collection is an intriguing story and I am very much looking forward to what he comes up with next.

-Steven Onoja

Steven is a NY based photographer and menswear blogger, born and raised in Nigeria. Follow him on Instagram at @StevenOnoja or check out his blog at