New York Fashion Week takes over the city September 8-12, with the return of in-person shows and IRL events. Over 90 designers will show their collections in venues all over the city, and countless brands are taking this opportunity to host product launches, parties and beyond. While NYFW is something of a shape-shifting event – continuously evolving to reflect the demands of both designers and consumers – this month’s iteration will be unique in its pandemic-prompted changes. Read on for expert predictions on what to expect at NYFW, plus a few shows and events to look out for.
(2019: Top Mexican Designers Announced NYFW 2019 Debut at ATLA, The Riviere Agency)
As BPCM co-founder Vanessa von Bismarck notes, “Brands certainly want to do in-person events again, but Delta is throwing a wrench into that. Brands and designers are doing what’s best for their own audience. There are some brands that really benefit from a runway show, and having that element of fantasy to sell to their clientele, and these brands also rely heavily on a digital element.” Still, digital remains: “Before the pandemic, having a digital component to shows and events was important, but post-pandemic, we have learned it’s essential. The consumer has grown to expect it, especially after the past year-and-a-half.”
After two seasons of mostly-digital presentations, and assuming the right precautions are being taken, brands are seeing extra value in moving forward with live events this fashion week. Seeing as the semi-annual NYFW generates about $887 million in total economic impact annually (via CFDA CEO Steven Kolb), it makes sense that businesses are choosing live events versus digital. “Due to the tremendous leadership of the CFDA and IMG's NYFW: The Shows, we have a blueprint for safety protocols including only admitting fully vaccinated staff and guests into shows which allows us to have some scaled-down shows,” shares Lori Riviere, co-director of The Riviere Agency. “The live events and fashion industry need to begin to recover economically but also emotionally. Small, safe, and short-duration gatherings are a way to do that.”
In addition to the economic effect, von Bismarck shares other reasons to move forward: “The influencers and the content that come through those channels. The word of mouth, people talking about where they went. The content that a brand gets out of a show, which they can use for the next three-to-six months. It’s hard to replicate the show pictures and the energy in the room with models walking down a runway in an empty space.”
She continues, “Further, Fashion Week supports and employs so many people outside of just designers, freelancers, tailors, models, publicists, production companies and stylists,” she continues. “The in-person shows throughout Fashion Week bring a huge amount of business to New York City, spanning local restaurants, hotels, retail, transportation—the list goes on. It’s a really important time to get behind NYFW.”
It's set to be a unique NYFW indeed, and our team is looking forward to seeing the innovations and creativity that some of the world's brightest design minds have been working on. In the meantime, read on for the events and shows to have on your radar next week.
Riviere shares, “We are once again working with Segway and excited for the Segway x Tom Bogo collaboration this season as both brands are focusing attention on sustainability and we can't wait to see how the scooters are incorporated into the Tom Bogo show at Spring Studios rooftop. We also can't wait to hop across the pond for London Fashion Week where we will be working with Oxford Fashion Studio's production of Leah Kelly by Design's all sustainable collection with stunning gowns literally made from things like Pineapple fibers.”
On von Bismarck's mind, “Overall, there has been so much preparation and planning to make this season function as safely as possible, and I look forward to seeing it succeed, so we can all find a way to function in this ‘new normal’ and keep the industry moving forward. I think it will be a really creative season, as people are ready to get dressed after so much time at home, and designers have definitely picked up on that. I am really optimistic.'
“I’m also curious to see how they’re going to do the Met. I think they’ll have to require that attendees are vaccinated. I think you’ll need a vaccination pass anywhere you go this Fashion Week. They should be testing at venues or sending tests to people’s homes to test before they come.”
See you next week, New York fashion friends.