A NYFW Like Never Before

New York Fashion week is the pride and joy of so many New Yorkers every September. It’s strange to think about how much has changed since the last NYFW this past February. Like countless other events these days, Fashion Week has had to adapt. The CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) launched Runway360, a digital platform developed to support American designers by bringing together every aspect of a collection launch in a one-stop-shop environment. The portal will be a permanent fixture in the fashion industry and is meant to help drive sales while providing the industry with a simple tool to experience the best of American fashion creativity. During NYFW Spring 2021, designers showcased their collections with videos and photos featured on Runway260 and with small, socially distanced outdoor presentations. Although this may be a far departure from past fashion weeks, we’re still here to cover the highlights of this new frontier in fashion for you!

 

The Highlights

  • Jason Wu kicked off the week with his collection inspired by his home away from home, Tulum. Wu presented the escapism themed show for a live audience of just 36 people who were all socially distanced and wearing masks. Health questionnaires and temperature checks were also done before the show!

  • Anna Sui showed her collection in a whimsical video underscoring a “home” motif. Touching on the pandemic and what home means to her, Sui presented flowy florals, cozy crochet bags, and feminine embroidery throughout her collection.

  • Alice + Olivia and Cynthia Rowley both had super fun videos that incorporated a lot of dancing. A creative way to express the movement of their collections.

  • Christian Siriano displayed his collection in the backyard of his Connecticut home, where guests were spaced out and all models wore masks. Pregnant model, Coco Rosha, made a splash literally and metaphorically!

  • Tom Ford closed out the week with a collection brimming with joy and optimism. In his statement about his collection, Ford explains how he felt the weight of this global depression caused by the pandemic and thought maybe fashion should just go into hibernation for the year. He designed this collection projecting the hope that by spring 2021 when the clothing hits stores, our world will be a much more optimistic place.



The Takeaways

It’s inspiring to see how the fashion industry rolled with the punches here. While the energy of in-person fashion shows was certainly missed (along with the street style fashion that came along with them), this virtual showcase opened the door for designers to really think outside of the box and flex their creative muscles even more than they already do! Not to mention that fashion week felt more accessible for everyone who wouldn’t normally be able to attend the live shows. It put us all on a level playing field, so to speak. NYFW's digital format also leveled the playing field for designers in some ways too. Some big names like Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs and Proenza Schouler didn’t hold any presentations, while emerging designers had a chance to shine without having to invest in expensive live shows. This resulted in ten new American brands showing their collections during this NYFW. So while it feels a bit unorthodox, perhaps all this change isn’t necessarily a bad thing…
  
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What are your thoughts on this NYFW? Let us know by commenting below!

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