With Paris Haute Couture in full swing and men’s European fashion weeks coming to a close, New York has begun to gear up not only for colder weather, but also for an influx of the fashion forward coming to view The Shows, as they are now known. New York Men’s Fashion Week will begin on the first of February, closing off a slew of menswear that has hit both the runways and streets in Milan, London and Paris. With Men’s Fashion Week closing on the fourth of the month, New York Fashion Week will begin on February 10th with one never-changing aspect: a packed schedule.
Lincoln Center isn’t the place to catch the best of what designers have been working on anymore. The week, now run by IMG for the second season will be filled with artistically clad show-goers trekking from one location to the next. While we (im)patiently await the most fashionable week of the year, there is one surprising question making its way down the runway: will this be the last of New York Fashion Week as we know it?
“People are confused,” stated Diane von Furstenberg, chairman of the CFDA when talking about fashion week. In a social media savvy age, the clothes at the shows aren’t just for the exclusively rich and famous. The CFDA has hired Boston Consulting Group to conduct a study looking into the future of the fashion shows and it appears that it will become more consumer friendly. Thanks to the social media, by the time the clothes from the runways walk onto the selling floor, consumers are already bored with the looks.
The CFDA isn’t the only one sweating the social media shift. Designer Misha Nonoo is sitting on the sidelines of The Shows this year, despite her usual participation. Instead, Nonoo has decided to follow a consumer calendar. She will show her Fall 2016 collection in September, at the same time that it will be hitting shelves, allowing viewers to not only see her fresh, new looks, but immediately take them home as well. Thakoon is also exempt from the schedule of fashion shows for February, opting to become a see-now, buy-now brand instead. Though not sitting out of the show, Proenza Schouler refuses to release pre-fall imagery this year, opting instead to wait until April when the clothes hit the racks.
Von Furstenberg has commented to Women’s Wear Daily that currently, “The only people who benefit [from the shows] are the people who copy it.” The trends created by designers are hitting stores after mere weeks thanks to fast fashion retailers such as Zara and H&M, rather than in the months it take the designers to make their pieces store ready.
Though the changes won’t affect the upcoming round of The Shows, beginning in just a few days, these may be the last of their type. Already designers such as Rebecca Minkoff, Givenchy, and Rag & Bone have opted to include a percentage of consumers in their audience, making the exclusivity of the famous fashion weeks much more attainable for the average fashion enthusiast.
In February, viewers can expect much of the same as previous shows: extensive coverage on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat of both behind the scenes and runway footage. Though our screens make attendance at The Shows possible from the comfort of our couches, in the upcoming years it looks like consumers will play a bigger part. The lines will become shoppable almost immediately, resulting in less exclusivity and more availability than ever before.
To see our Spring/Summer 2016 roundup, click here.
Article by Kaylee Denmead for The Untitled Magazine