Five Reasons the Fashion Calendar is Passé

With the announcement that this will be New York Fashion Week’s last soiree at Lincoln Center and last year with Mercedes Benz as a sponsor, we decided to take a hard look at fashion week and ask, “Is NYFW getting stale?” Here are five reasons why we think it’s time for a fashion week overhaul.

1.  THE RUNWAY IS NOW EVERYWHERE.

Fashion shows are the most well-known way to debut new fashion but it’s not the most effective way for consumers to experience it.  Standard fashion shows last between 15 – 20 minutes and the looks are on the runway for only a minute. Fashion shows are expensive productions (we touched on in Brand, Sweat, and Tearsand brands have taken notice.  Many companies are taking the helm and rethinking the concept of presentation like Band of Outsiders’ fashion scavenger hunt or live virtual runways. 

2.  THE RETAIL CALENDAR IS CHANGING.

Fashion is speeding up as shoppers demand new things all the time. Retailers are starting to respond to this trend by breaking calendar rules and placing smaller orders more frequently throughout the year. Why then do we only have major fashion weeks twice a year?  Shouldn’t we have smaller presentations, with more virility built in, all year round?

3.  ONE WEEK IS NOT ENOUGH.

New talent gets lost in one crowded week.  Along with the four major fashion weeks – New York, London, Milan and Paris – there are over 40 official fashion weeks around the world.  But with mega funded ‘celebulines’ and top brands, independent designer shows tend to get lost in the crowd.  Why not a separate fashion week for independent brands? Fashion isn’t just for the industry, it should be a celebration of wearable expression and that happens everyday.

4.  IT’S NO LONGER ALL ABOUT FASHION.

Originally, fashion week was an industry event that has slowly turned into a who’s-who in popular culture.  The crowd at the tents has become more of a celebrity red carpet, than a place for fashion lovers, buyers, press, and manufacturers.  Many times press picks up on who is sitting front row, rather than on the fashion. We want to hear more about the fashion than #breakingtheinternet.

5.  EVEN FW FOUNDERS ARE CALLING FOR CHANGE.

Even Fern Mallis, one of the original creators of Fashion Week, said, Fashion Week needs to be rethought. With the loss of the sponsor and venue,  now is the moment for the traditional fashion show model to be rethought as something smarter, more inclusive, and viral.

Fashion should take a note from galleries. Smaller, always open exhibits, rotating collections, and inclusive presentations. At Nineteenth Amendment, we have been experimenting with these at our Fashion Previews – rotating presentations in multiple cities of some of the best independent design talent around. 

What do you think of the presentations (check out Boston and New York)?
What would you suggest to make fashion week better?
Leave it in the comments below and help us put on the fashion show of the future.

-Amanda

 

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10 Comments

    • Nineteenth Amendment

      Nineteenth Amendment

      Thanks Amy!

    • This is so important!! Fashion has continually deminished its appeal since 2007. The economy has ripped through its grandeur and excellence. Much of what we have been left with is mediocrity. How can we expect consumers to buy the same stuff over and over again. This is a wake up call to creativity and also buyer patterns. Buyers also contribute to this death of fashion so to speak. They have for years stunted creativity for bottom line projections. Read the Death of Fashion, Teri Akins. It’s a prophetic commentary on what’s now happening to our beloved industry.

  1. I’ve covered the NY shows since 1999 and I saw its rise and actual state. I think what’s been the most damaging has been the organizers unfair and sometimes rude treatment towards the press and the photographers. Not all the press, not all the photographers, just the ones that go do their job and do this for a living, the “rest” are treated in a rather grand and silly manner … and then the inclusion of other parties who really have nothing whatsoever to contribute. I know I’m not being too clear but its a topic I could talk about for hours. The shows need to go back to their roots: Venues that will accommodate buyers, press and photographers. Fair treatment to all the parties previously mentioned and a whole section where designers and labels can immediately can take orders and sell. This can be done once the buyer is cleared or invited by the event and or the designer to assist the show. The buyer can confirm if he will stay & learn more about fabrics, styles, place an order, shipping dates, estimate cost and so on. The event has to stop being a photo op and a runway of what people and bloggers are wearing. Personally I don’t care what a blogger or stylist is wearing, if I wanted to see what people on the street are wearing I’d walk down 5th avenue, finito. What I do want to see and write about is what the designer will showcase, everything else is irrelevant and will be covered by the internet…

    • Nineteenth Amendment

      Nineteenth Amendment

      Pedro – we love the idea of the buying section – feels like half show/half Magic – maybe the best of both worlds! We encourage our designers to have the collections that they show at Fashion Weeks live on their Studios to take advantage of the interest right away – literally steps from the runway!
      Thanks for your thoughts!

  2. I agree with Pedro about the buying section. A fashion show should lead to business opportunities for designers but this is not the case with most high profile shows in LA & NY today. Especially for upcoming designers, the benefit rarely seems to outweigh the cost.

    • Nineteenth Amendment

      Nineteenth Amendment

      Aamber! Thanks for your comment. Interesting to hear about LA as well. We definitely welcome any thoughts or suggestions of how to make shows more beneficial for all involved!

    • Lisa Kesselman

      Pedro, I’m sorry, but if some of the photographers wouldn’t act like children before , during and after the shows it would make the tents more enjoyable for everyone also. When we were in Bryant Park, you all were much more respectful to the people whom work there and tried to keep the crowds in control! Do you know what it’s like to have an “invited” guest get in your face and push because the PR firm for a particular designer double booked their seat? Don’t judge until you’ve been there. You guys are sometimes the problem, pushing your way through us so you can get the perfect shot of some blogger, reality star , etc. It’s sad how things have changed so drastically from when Eleanor Lambert started Press Week back in the 40s. 7th on 6th turned it into a circus. We need to go back to the old days where it was just photogs/press, buyers, and editors. Not this cluster F it has become today. That’s why presentations are so much better then runway shows.

  3. Lisa Kesselman

    The shows were meant for buyers, press and editors. It should go back to that. Fashion week doesn’t need to be all inclusive. It should go back to being exclusive. Allowing store buyers to really see a preview. They are the people that ultimately matter. They are the ones driving sales. Instead they are stuck back in rows 4, 5, and 6 while the likes of Ramona and the Countess from NY Housewives or the Kardashians are put in the first row. Who are they to judge Fashion? Honestly, it’s sickening what has happened. I’ve been attending since Byant Park and actually WORKING in the tents since Lincoln Center and it’s truly sad what it has turned into. Being in the industry for 30 years, it makes me sad when someone like Kanye can get backing for his ridiculous line, but serious emerging designers who actually studied, interned and worked in the industry, have to struggle and barely make ends meet……my suggestion is to bring the shows back to Eleanor Lamberts days. Stop the circus, make designs available for buyers to order immediately following. Stop allowing everyone to take pictures only accredited press, buyers or editirs should be allowed to photograph. Just like in the years past……we need to get control back. Just one view from the inside.

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