Created in 1943 by Eleanor Lambert, who first began organizing “Press Week” in New York, New York Fashion Week has become the global showcase of fashion and designers. It’s a highly reputable event that drives the other fashion weeks in London, Paris and Milan, and features hundreds of fashion designers and brands, both established and upcoming.
In the 70 years since its inception, things have changed a lot. While fashion shows are still the trend, they are no longer just reserved for insiders, journalists and A-list celebrities. The event, once just confined to tents at spots like Bryant Park and Lincoln Center, now encompasses the entire city. It even pops up in unlikely places such as The Oyster Bar Grand Central (Kate Spade), the Smithsonian Design Museum (Tory Burch), or the Hammerstein Ballroom, (Philipp Plein).
This year, NYFW is from from September 6th to 14th, with shows (and pop-up stores!) across the entire city.
If last February’s Fashion Week (an impressive 136 shows over 10 days) is any indication, this year’s NYFW will also make a huge splash. The main reason for this? A growing number of micro-events.
Alongside big names like Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford and Michael Kors, other brands took advantage of the main event with pop-up spaces, showrooms or boutiques of their own. Justin Timberlake and Rihanna for example, both owners of successful clothing brands, tapped into February’s Fashion Week to showcase their lines. Timberlake opened an short-term showroom in SoHo for his brand William Rast, while Rihanna did the same with Fenty, her sportswear apparel line.
Faith Hope Consolo, the chairwoman of Douglas Elliman’s retail leasing and sales division, told the New York Post that other celebrities have started to follow suit, like Kayne West or Pharrell Williams, who have also popped up during Fashion Week. “A short-term space is still a showcase during Fashion Week, but it’s also a way of testing a neighborhood to see if it works for a long-term lease,” she said.
Plus, big industry players are cashing in on the Fashion Week events as well. In 2017, NYFW’s management company, IMG, created Made, a fashion incubator and trendsetter, to give the most daring emerging designers, like Jeremy Scott and The Blonds, their own show-hub in Lower Manhattan. These two innovative pop-up stores, The Shop @ New York Fashion Week: The Shows and FYI @ MADE New York, are mixing shows, fashion and music, in Chelsea. “In our ongoing conversations with the fashion industry, we realized that easy-to-use multipurpose spaces were needed to help our designers and partners connect directly with consumers,” said Catherine Bennett, Vice President and Director. IMG Fashion Events.