My first recollection of going to fashion week was back when it was still being held at Lincoln Center.
It was actually kind of nice having all the shows clustered in one place, although to be honest it felt a little like an airport. (There were even QR codes, which still exist at shows today. But the glossy “terminals” couples with the printed tickets certainly didn’t help.) But it was really easy to get free gifts from the many booths there, some of them pretty random, like one booth for Sweet and Low. (Which is actually a great sweetener, no matter what anyone says, but I digress. You may also enjoy the Rich Cohen book on this, if you like REALLY sweet tea.)
There was also a “bloggers’ lounge,” which is still pretty common at shows at Clarkson and Moynihan today. But it was just handy having everything under one roof. And it was especially fun to watch people parading their street style in front of the venue. It was sort of like a fashion celebration.
My first shows were Noon by Noor, Desigual, and of course backstage at BCBG, which was a real treat. I still remember going into the tent behind the venue, and it was actually about six months later that I realized it was a tent at all!
Since then of course, has diversified in several ways. For one thing, IMG bought Made Fashion Week, which sort of makes them the same event series in some ways. Sure, Made (not to be confused with ), still favors smaller and edgier designers (which in a sense makes it a little more like London Fashion Week), but it’s no longer “independent” in the same way it was, even if it still tries really hard by using cool words like “sick,” for some reason.
Nowadays it’s almost like before the ‘90s, when editors had to trek across town to see different shows. There have even been shows held as far afield as Brooklyn, such as the Alexander Wang show a few seasons back.
As technology increases, the shows themselves are changing in nature. For example, there are more shows live streaming than ever before. Before long, we can expect them to become fully virtual, so look forward to some sort of down the line.
Even Vogue that eventually all of the shows may become VR only. This technology intersects with things like digital displays, like those developed by Samsung. These digital displays allow for a fully interactive retail experience. Shoppers can try on outfits in a virtual wardrobe fitting. Rent the Runway already has a technologically equipped store in midtown Manhattan that offers exactly this sort of technological convenience.
Of course, New York Fashion Week is only one of four big fashion weeks, followed by London Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week, and finally Paris Fashion Week. Collectively, these “Big 4” fashion weeks are known as fashion month.
The events of fashion month are covered by a variety of well-known writers, such as senior Vogue runway reporter Sarah Mower. Then of course there are the style editors such as Emma Elwick-Bates.
You might even see editors at large like Hamish Bowles. Fashion week is an exciting tradition that serves as a valuable focal point for style and retail around the world.