NYFW plays host to new creatives and see-now-buy-now
New York Fashion Week begins Thursday and it may be the most crucial season for the event. In the weeks leading up to NYFW, many designers changed their show format, aligning with the retail calendar, or they moved off of the schedule entirely.
The most high-profile designers and brands missing from the schedule this season include Tommy Hilfiger, which held its second see-now-buy-now show in Venice Beach, CA this week; DKNY, which will hold press appointments for the new collection following its recent shakeup; and Opening Ceremony, which held a ballet performance on January 28.
With over 100 designers and brands showing this week, the absentee designers not be too noticeable, but the departures are a cause for concern. Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy recently announced that they will present their collections in Paris during couture week this year. The shift will give the award-winning sisters a longer production time and will allow the new Rodarte collection to sit in stores for a longer window. Proenza Schouler will also leave the NYFW schedule for Paris this year, marking the fashion label’s runway show this February as its last NYFW show for the time being.
‘Star power’ is a concern for NYFW: Men’s, which could spread to the women’s fashion week if designers continue to leave the schedule. But Raf Simons’ move to New York City may offset the number of departures and attract more designers to NYFW.
Raf Simons held his first-ever show at NYFW: Men’s this month, which ramped up attention for the successful week. WWD reported that retailers praised the event for the addition of Raf Simons and Hugo Boss. The Calvin Klein runway presentation is one of the most anticipated shows this February since Raf was appointed Chief Creative Officer.
Oscar de la Renta and Monse will present together now that Monse founders Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia are co-directors of Oscar de la Renta. Drama surrounded the appointment of Kim and Garcia, including a lawsuit from Carolina Herrera for Oscar de la Renta allegedly violating Kim’s non-compete clause and the departure of François Kress as CEO of Carolina Herrera.
But no legal battles will be holding up the show at Oscar de la Renta this season, nor at Bibhu Mohapatra, who will present his latest collection on February 15 just weeks after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Mohapatra is restructuring his debt and says the bankruptcy protection will attract investors.
Other highly anticipated shows this season include Alexander Wang on February 11, Coach’s mixed-gender fashion show on February 14, Thom Browne and Ralph Lauren on February 15, and Marc Jacobs on the final day, February 16. The upcoming Coach runway show follow its 75th anniversary show in December that debuted the women's pre-fall and men's fall collections.
Show attendees will also be on the lookout for the Gabriella Hearst show on February 14, which marks as her first show since winning the International Woolmark Prize for womenswear. Another anticipated catwalk is Christian Siriano, who is often heralded for his collections that are inclusive of all female body types, and Pyer Moss for its political statements.
Pyer Moss designer Kerby Jean-Raymond, who does not shy away from making a statement, debuted his Bernie vs. Bernie collection at NYFW in September, which may have inspired Vetements’ Bernie Sanders-inspired pieces seen on the runway in January and the politically charged and politically motivated messages at NYFW: Men’s this season. By Robert James took a stand against fascism at New York Men’s Day in January, Todd Snyder kicked off his show at NYFW: Men’s with pre-show music calling for peace, and Rebecca Minkoff made a statement about female empowerment at her see-now-buy-now show this month.
Political stances are expected to be a major theme this season, especially following the launch of the CFDA’s “Fashion Stands with Planned Parenthood” initiative that includes participation from 40 designers including Tory Burch, Carolina Herrera, Proenza Schouler, Prabal Gurung, Narciso Rodriguez and Cushnie et Ochs.
The see-now-buy-now trend will continue to flex its muscles too. Zadig & Voltaire, Mansur Gavriel and Banana Republic will hold see-now-buy-now shows this season, the new runway format that gets the clothes to retail right after the show. Parisian fashion label Zadig & Voltaire is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with a co-ed see-now-buy-now show, and Banana Republic and Mansur Gavriel will open pop up shops to complement their respective shows.
Notable returns this season include Public School, which exited the NYFW schedule to show in June and December, and Kanye West’s Yeezy Season show. Designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne took their fashion label off of the NYFW schedule to focus on DKNY, but the brand returns to schedule now that the duo has left DKNY. In addition, West will hold his Yeezy Season 5 show after a frenetic year for the rapper and designer. The show follows the infamous Yeezy Season 4 show that took the press to Roosevelt Island for an unexpected sweltering experience.
West received backlash from the CFDA for scheduling the Yeezy Season 5 show on February 15 at 5pm at the same time as Marchesa and Assembly New York, but the creative moved the show’s time slot to avoid conflict.
New York Fashion Week begins on February 8, and the Skylight Clarkson Square venues will open on February 9 at 10am with the Nicholas K show.
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