New York Fashion Week: The Shows Spring 2019 Pre-coverage

Will this be a turnaround season for New York Fashion Week: The Shows (NYFWS)? It just might be. Several fashion designers/brands are returning to NYFWS after experimenting with only showing across the Big Pond. Returning to NYFWS for the spring 2019 season includes, but is not limited to, Rodarte, Proenza Schouler, Altazurra, Opening Ceremony, Escada, and surprisingly Norma Kamali, who is returning to the fashion calendar after not showing during NYFW for some time.

These returns to NYFWs may portend a new direction and energy for NYFWS. For several seasons, NYFWS has been in the doldrums, particularly after the exit from Lincoln Center in late 2014 and its choice of venues that fell way below the standard for international fashion weeks. With the loss of Skylight Clarkson and Milk Studios as fashion week venues, WME-IMG, the governing body for NYFWS, and the CFDA have resorted to using Pier 59, Industria Superstudio, and Spring Studios for the majority of the main runway shows and presentations. Additionally, with the elimination of credential registration for fashion editors last fashion season, WME_IMG and the CFDA has placed NYFWS in a perilous position.

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In recent years many top brands defected to European fashion weeks or opted out of showing their collections at fashion week altogether. And the inclusion of social media influencers as preferred attendees to top shows over seasoned fashion editors and stylists has alienated lots of fashion industry professionals.That said; NYFWS soldiers on. Additions to the NYFWS calendar this season is Vivienne Westwood (only appointments for buyers), Longchamp, Kozaburo Akasaka (LVMH special prize winner), Studio 189 (Rosario Dawson’s sustainable brand), Hunting Season, Gauntlett Cheng, Rebecca de Ravenel, Lou Dallas, Nanushka, and others

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Though there are many new additions to the fashion calendar this season, the numbers pale in comparison to those designers/brands that once use to present at NYFWS. (In years past over 500 designer/brands presented at NYFWS.) And maybe that is a good thing, maybe not. Only time will tell.Still, NYFWS is not the same and like things that evolve so has NYFWS. Gone are the days of endless fashion shows; a front row stocked full of celebrities; leggy glamazons ruling the runway, and endless swag/gift bags. Even Anna Wintour is edging toward the end of her market influence.

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Perhaps, we are standing on the precipice of something that is more relevant, more tangible and ultimately more real. And if fashion humbly and openly embraces this new evolution, we will all be better for it.—William S. Gooch

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