While this month’s New York Fashion Week will be unlike anything ever seen before, both IMG and the Council of Fashion Designers of America have worked to put together a week that’s mostly virtual, with a few in-person shows mixed with films, videos, shopping events and panel discussions.
Jason Wu kicks off the week Sept. 13 at 5 p.m. with a live fashion show with models on the rooftop of Spring Studios that will be limited to a small group of people. The show will be filmed for a virtual audience and a considerable buildout by Lowe’s, NYFW: The Show’s special projects partner, is planned. It will be livestreamed on NYFW.com and Runway360.
In fact, the CFDA has recruited some 60 designers to show videos and look books, and stream shows or whatever else they want, on the Runway360 platform during fashion week. Each designer was given a specific time slot, but viewers can watch any time after that, as well. The digital platform is open to retailers, consumers and media to view. It also includes 10 emerging men’s wear and gender-fluid designers participating as part of New York Men’s Day on Sept. 15 from 9 to 11 a.m. The CFDA’s schedule wraps up Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. with Tom Ford, who is showing images of his spring collection.
Matthew Orley, vice president, designer relations and business development at IMG, said, “New York Fashion Week: The Shows’ schedule of events for September will include a hybrid model of in-person and virtual events with NYFW.com serving as its official digital hub. Some examples of ways we are supporting designers this season include in-season shopping activations, socially distant runway shows, photo shoots in our on-site content hub and panel conversations broadcasted virtually on our NYFW.com site and mobile app.” Its participants include Badgley Mischka, Veronica Beard, Christian Siriano, Private Policy, Tanya Taylor, Tadashi Shoji, Christian Cowan and Alice + Olivia.
As reported, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a statement last week that under New York State health and safety guidelines, outdoor events will be capped at 50 people and indoor events at 50 percent capacity with no spectators.
While NYFW in September will be lacking some of the American industry’s star power — including Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Gabriela Hearst, Oscar de la Renta, Proenza Schouler, Tory Burch and Prabal Gurung — many of these designers plan to introduce their collections at a later date. Marc Jacobs, as reported, isn’t making a spring collection altogether. Hearst plans to show during Paris Fashion Week.
Here, a sampling of what’s happening during NYFW:
• Rebecca Minkoff will be releasing her fall 2020 collection on Sept. 15 from 5 p.m to 7 p.m. on the rooftop of Spring Studios, for influencers and buyers. (She is sticking with the see-now-buy-now concept). The company is also partnering with Lowe’s to create an outdoor setting with a bohemian and rock-‘n’-roll vibe. Minkoff plans to populate Instagram with the livestream shopping, and Rebecca Minkoff herself will do a 10-minute walk-through and shopping experience. A video edit of the show will be posted on NYFW.com on Sept. 16.
• Jonathan Simkhai will show on Runway360 on Sept. 14 at 12:30. The company has two digital activations happening for fashion week, including a fall 2020 video asset release for the public and a spring 2021 digital asset release for industry viewing only. In addition to Runway360, they will be livestreaming on their web site.
• Veronica Miele Beard and Veronica Swanson Beard, cofounders and designers of Veronica Beard, said, “We’ll be revealing our spring 2021 look book and digital assets during NYFW in September, but we’re not planning an in-person show or a formal even this season.” Their time slot on Runway360 is Sept. 14 at 2 p.m.
• Carolina Herrera won’t be showing a new collection in September; however, the brand will be presenting a debut of a special video project celebrating its presence in NYFW for the past four decades. It will be shown Sept. 14 at 10 a.m. on carolinaherrera.com. The company said it hasn’t confirmed yet whether it will be on Runway360.
• Badgley Mischka will be showing its spring collection on Sept. 15 on Runway360 platform, as well as IMG’s digital platform at the same time. “We will of course be launching on our web site and social channels simultaneously. We will be unveiling a short film as well as the collection photos,” said a spokesman.
• Cinq à Sept will show video content and images on Sept. 16 at 11 a.m. on Runway360, as well as in partnership with IMG and the @NYFW social media handles. It will also run at the same time on Cinq à Sept’s Instagram @cinqasept. The images combine natural elements and bring the outside inside, said Jane Siskin, chief executive officer and founder.
Meantime, several New York designers are opting to show in October. Kors, as reported, will present his spring 2021 collection via a multilayered digital experience on Oct. 15 at 9 a.m. The spring collection will be broadcast across the brand’s social and digital platforms globally. Kors will personally present the collection to members of the press in presentations on Oct. 14 live and via video appointments.
Burch said she will create a digital look book for spring 2021 to post later in the season.
According to Gurung, “At the time, our plans are to show the upcoming collection in a new format, and for the first time in over a decade we will not be presenting a runway experience. Instead, the collection will be shown privately to buyers, select press and our beloved community of brand supporters. This is an opportunity to rewire the way we do business going forward, adopting a new model and calendar that will serve our customers first and foremost. This means offering seasonal collections closer to the time that shoppers will want to wear the pieces we are selling, and unveiling them to the public when they are available for purchase. This was a model we had been exploring for some time, and as the last few months have given us all time to rethink how the industry works, it felt like the right time to make a change.”
Meantime, Proenza Schouler said it is definitely producing a collection for spring 2021 that will be sold to buyers during the September market period, but they are releasing their assets closer to mid-to-late October. They are working on a larger creative project that will be sent to editors and will also release a formal look book with images as in previous seasons. The company hasn’t yet decided whether it will participate in Runway360, since its embargo lift will be in October. The company said it will assess once the platform is released.
Cynthia Rowley said she is focusing on a “New York Strong” story where she’ll shoot a video socially distanced in New York City at various outdoor restaurants, because this is a moment that will never be recognized again and she feels it’s important to acknowledge it. The shoot takes place next week and will feature video and stills and more seasonless fashion. The video will be released on Rowley’s own platform and other digital platforms, and they are looking into having it streamed on CFDA’s Runway360.
Sally LaPointe’s upcoming LaPointe collection will not be shown publicly in September. Its sales team will be holding private buyer appointments during New York Fashion Week, but the public release of the collection images will be under embargo until the season ships in January.
“Despite the fact that so many plans have had to change across the industry due to COVID-19, I would like to note that we actually had this strategy for our September collection in place well before the pandemic hit,” said Sally LaPointe.
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