NEW YORK — Beginning with next September’s round of shows, New York Fashion Week will kick off every second Thursday of both September and February.
The shift in start days is just one of several developments highlighted in two memos the Council of Fashion Designers of America sent out this week.
The decision to move the shows originated in a meeting between CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg and executive director Steven Kolb and their European counterparts in London in September. It prompted von Furstenberg to gather executives from IMG Fashion and the Fashion Calendar here to discuss making the shift. The scheduling will allow London an extra day of shows.
The fall 2009 shows will run from Friday, Feb. 13, through Friday, Feb. 20. The spring 2010 shows are scheduled from Thursday, Sept. 10, through Thursday, Sept. 17. Thereafter, the shows are slated to begin on every second Thursday of the month.
The CFDA also recently organized a meeting with several industry executives, including editors, retailers and show producers, to brainstorm ways to improve upon the current system of shows. As a result, the CFDA is encouraging designers to consider group showings, with two or three who share the same market teaming up in one venue and showing the collection to the same audience in a one-hour time slot. The CFDA points out that shows can be personalized with different lighting, sound tracks and models within the time slot. This will not just allow editors and retailers to more efficiently manage their time by reducing travel between venues, but can also reduce the cost of shows for designers.
“Particularly with the economy, we thought, is there a different way during fashion week that designers can show their collections, that makes it more organized and structured for people who go to shows, and also, is there a way designers can perhaps spend less money?” Kolb said.
The CFDA is also encouraging more presentations, which could enable editors and retailers to attend several within one hour, and offer face time with the designer. To that end, IMG Fashion is considering a fourth venue within walking distance of the Bryant Park tents earmarked for such presentations.
In the memo, the CFDA is “strongly” encouraging designers to condense the resort shows, which in past seasons have been spread over a six-week period from early June to mid-July. The CFDA is asking designers to contain those openings to the first two weeks of June. “It looked like there should be a more defined time for resort,” Kolb said. “The closer the shows are together, the more cohesion there is, and the more defined the market becomes.”