There are two sides to every coin, never has this been more true than with the state of affairs at New York Fashion Week. For a creative industry, the fashion world is surprisingly slow and averse to change, which means that the recent changes to NYFW have been met with trepidation.
It is a fact however that the fashion world is not as it once was, and change is now the only constant. Innovation and engagement are the names of the game which you would assume would bring about change. So why see these changes as negatives ?
NYFW brings an annual $900 million worth of business to the New York economy, so the conversation is both timely and urgent. In the past few months there have been some major departures from NYFW. Power players Proenza Schouler and Rodarte have moved their NY ready-to-wear to Paris couture.Tom Browne and Altuzarra have chosen to move their ready-to-wear to Paris. In addition to that Narciso Rodriguez has opted for a presentation in lieu of a show. That said, Calvin Klein is experiencing an American rebirth thanks to Raf Simons at the helm of the label.
If you are to consider fashion capitals power players depending on the number of broad influence shows, then New York has certainly lost some of its clout. With Paris literally bursting at the seams with influential shows, it would be correct to assume that fashion as we know it will be felt more in Paris. Which begs the question, what is true fashion influence ?
With the rise and rise of social media influencers and fashertainment, has there been a shift in power as well from the established fashion brands to mega personalities that work on brands. Recording artists such as Rihanna and Kanye West both Americans have influenced the world with their fashion for Puma and Adidas respectively.
The fact that Rodarte and Proenza Schouler have been invited to participate at Paris couture could actually be considered an accolade of the highest honor. With this in mind, perhaps NYFW is indeed experiencing a renaissance and not a withering of power.
Another element to consider is focus, does the absence of mega brands at NYFW mean that smaller more promising brands will have a greater opportunity to shine ?Could there be a new Vetements or Off-White lurking in the presentation showrooms of NYFW? Time will tell…