In a recent interview with WWD about the return of New York Fashion Week with no less than 91 shows and presentations, Steven Kolb, chief executive officer of the The Council of Fashion Designers, said that “editors and buyers wanted to be back in person” after two mostly virtual seasons.
But while it’s understood there will be a number of editors in attendance, there won’t be the usual global crowd sitting front row at the shows in their carefully picked outfits.
The majority of editors in attendance will be from American-based publications, with many from other parts of the world watching shows virtually like in previous seasons. That’s because the U.S. still has a travel ban in place on non-U.S. travelers coming directly from Europe, China, South Africa, Brazil and India due to the coronavirus and the rise of the Delta variant.
In the other direction, with American travelers for now permitted to travel to Europe, some editors from U.S. publications are planning to travel to shows, although it’s understood they will closely monitor the situation and COVID-19 rates.
In the last week, European officials have recommended that its member countries reinstate travel restrictions for unvaccinated U.S. tourists, having removed the country from its safe list. It is still up to the 27 member states to make that decision and already Italy has introduced new restrictions for travelers.
Some U.S.-based editors, including from The Cut, New York Magazine’s culture and fashion vertical; Bustle Digital Group, and WSJ., The Wall Street Journal’s luxury insert, are looking to attend Paris and Milan, with the latter’s team planning to also squeeze in London Fashion Week.
In the case of The New York Times, editors are hoping to travel to Milan and Paris, but are keeping a close eye on EU guidance before making a decision. Elizabeth Paton, a Styles section reporter based in London, will cover London Fashion Week.
At InStyle, editor in chief Laura Brown and market and accessories director Sam Broekema are going to Milan and Paris this year. The last time Brown was in Paris for fashion week was in 2020 when she decided to return to New York early due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19, meaning a local team had to complete the shoot of its May 2020 cover face Carey Mulligan.
As for Vogue, WWD has learned that it is changing the way it covers shows altogether amid publisher Condé Nast’s efforts to streamline its brands’ global editions after merging U.S. and international operations as part of a cost-saving initiative.
“As a global title, and in order to maximize its industry-leading coverage across markets, Vogue has shifted its approach to fashion show attendance,” a source said. “Global representatives from the fashion market, fashion news, and Vogue Runway teams will be collectively responsible for fashion show coverage worldwide. As part of Condé Nast’s commitment to sustainability, local attendance that does not require travel will also be prioritized.”
How this will work in practice remains to be seen.
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