For better or worse, this September New York Fashion Week (NYFW) is back, baby! Music to the ears of models, designers, make-up artists, and hair gurus, the madness that wracks havoc on our city’s traffic and restaurant reservations is returning to in-person presentations after a near two years, virtual existence.
“This season’s shows are an opportunity to reaffirm the resilience and independence of American fashion and New York City as a global fashion force,” writes Council of Fashion Designers of America chairman Tom Ford in an official letter announcing the return. “I started my career on Seventh Avenue and while I spent most of my working life in Europe, I am incredibly proud to be an American designer and a part of our community and New York Fashion Week.”
True as that may be, the fashion industry, as beloved as it is, has gone through considerable challenges of late. From #metoo accusations that plagued photographers, designers and their enablers, to demand for inclusiveness, to calls for sustainable practices, retail crisis and rising conscious consumerism, this billion-dollar behemoth had no choice but to introspect.
This year, the programming, titled NYFW: The Shows, is organized by IMG and sponsored by Afterpay. Though many brands, young and established, plan to show in a similar fashion as before, the Fashion Alliance, a collective of 11 fashion houses, will present three, not four, consecutive seasons. Those include Altuzarra, Brandon Maxwell, Jason Wu, LaQuan Smith, Markarian, Monse, Prabal Gurung, Proenza Schouler, Rodarte, Sergio Hudson and Telfar. This cutback represents a shift away from overproduction towards slower fashion and sustainable consumption.