TOM FORD HEADS TO NEW YORK: Tom Ford said Thursday he plans to show both his fall 2016 women’s wear and men’s wear collections in “small, intimate presentations” during New York Fashion Week, on Feb. 18.

Ford has held similar presentations at his London design headquarters in past seasons, but this is the first time he will present both the women’s and men’s collections together in New York in this format.

The designer had previously planned to present his fall 2016 men’s wear collection in London, as usual, but in a show format. However, a spokesman for the brand confirmed that the small, intimate presentations for men’s and women’s wear will take place in New York only.

Last week, the up-and-coming London designer Thomas Tait announced he was giving up the runway temporarily to do one-on-one appointments with press and buyers in Paris. As the time and commercial pressures of the catwalk increase, designers worldwide are looking for new ways of speaking to their audience.

“When I began my own company I wanted to create clothes with the highest level of workmanship and attention to detail,” said Ford. “Pieces that a customer would keep for life. This is one of the reasons that I launched my women’s collection in a small presentation in New York, where the audience could experience the clothes up close.

“In previous seasons, I have presented the collections in my London showroom to the press in an informal format that allows me to speak with journalists while they view and touch the clothes,” he continued. “As we all know, the way in which we show clothes, not only to the press, but also to the consumer, is changing.

“Right now, I think that a certain fluidity is necessary in regards to how we communicate with the consumer, and I have experimented with different formats recently,” said Ford. “The most important thing to me with a presentation is that it communicates the message of the season and the point of view of the collection.

“Next season, it feels right to return to a format that is intimate and shows the detail of the clothes. The intimacy of small presentations affords that. We launched our first women’s collection in New York in 2010 and opened our first store there in 2007. I am very excited to present both collections in New York,” he added.

Ford has been experimenting with different formats to traditional fashion shows for the past few seasons. For fall, he presented his fashion show before the Oscars in Los Angeles, and this past season, he presented his spring 2016 collection with a virtual fashion show featuring Lady Gaga and directed by Nick Knight.

Fall 2016 will mark the first time that Ford will show both collections in the U.S. together.

The company said the American market has become increasingly important for the brand, with retail flagships opening this year in Houston and Miami. Atlanta is slated to open in February 2016, and joins directly owned flagships in New York, Las Vegas, Beverly Hills, Dallas and Chicago.

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