Tom Ford RTW Fall 2018, Oscar de la Renta Resort 2018

I’ve said this for years: there’s only one of me. So it’s frustrating when there are three shows at one time on the calendar. It’s even more aggravating when one show is downtown in the bowels of Manhattan and the next show is in midtown on 67th. And you’re trying to figure out how you’ll get there and then turn around and get back to Chelsea for yet another show. I’m hearing from buyers from the U.K. [that] they have either stopped coming and are seeing the collections in Paris, or they’re questioning why they’re coming because the schedule feels overwhelming and the shows don’t feel strong enough for them to spend eight, 10 days in America. I believe there are too many shows. And the few shows that happened during resort market, it was a non-event. There were two or three shows and it did nothing. When I have conversations with designers or creatives and heads of brands, I don’t often think it occurs to them [to consider] the user who is attending the show and what the purpose of the show is. When it comes to the conversation of fixing the calendar, many people want to bury their heads in the sand and think there’s not a problem. There’s obviously a problem, because we’ve been talking about it now for years. [One alternative] could be a gallery walk in a six-, eight-block radius in Chelsea. Up-and-coming, emerging, not ready for prime time can find their location and we can walk door to door, block to block, like a trade show, but a cool trade show, in Chelsea. We could meet the designers face to face, hear about their inspirations, see the clothes up close. We can celebrate the young, emerging talent all at one time, get them done early, on Saturday and Sunday, and Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday can be for the big shows.”  Ken Downing, fashion director and senior vice president, Neiman Marcus

The conversation of June, resort calendar, pre-spring calendar, June fashion week….June has become an incredibly important month from a business point of view because we’re seeing so many collections and categories at once. The men’s main market is taking place in June. We’re seeing women’s pre-spring market take place, not only in New York but also in Milan and Paris. And it’s all categories. It’s no longer just, ‘oh, let’s come and see ready-to-wear,’ it’s ready-to-wear, accessories. June is a very important month. Almost just as important as September and October, January and February in the women’s calendar. So I do think there’s opportunity to really sit down and review how all of these markets, all these fashion weeks can sort of be more effective and more efficient. We are seeing a lot of product, a lot of clothing year-round. There is no longer quote/unquote ‘a break.’ However, I do think it’s interesting because we are getting a much more cohesive story because I can see a creative director’s vision, not just for part of the brand. I can holistically have the creative director’s full vision, and that is very impactful at the moment because so much is happening between men’s and women’s.” — Roopal Patel, fashion director, Saks Fifth Avenue

“In a word [New York Fashion Week] is boring. It’s such a mixture of the good, the bad and the ugly. A more curated — I hate to use a verb like that, I’m kind of doing that sarcastically — the more curated Fashion Week would be, the better it would be. The sentiment in the U.S. is that you can’t really do that and be fair to everybody. Because we can’t do it, it’s more of a motley collection. What it means is you have to be really careful to do a whole lot of research to see if you even want to go to ask for a ticket to somebody’s show. Because there are so many of them, and you’re thinking, ‘I’ve never heard of these people. How do I find out if they’re any good?’ There’s been no sort of vetting and I just don’t have the time and energy to look at 200 fashion shows.” — Valerie Steele

“I think the big question is ‘What is a fashion show?’ ‘What will a fashion show be in the future?’ ‘How do we continue to excite the consumer?’ ‘How do you express your message in a changing world that is now increasingly digital?’ Today, fashion shows are becoming brand experiences, and no longer just for press and buyers. It’s finding ways for the consumer to experience your world.” — Ralph Lauren

“While the CFDA Fashion Calendar is the official calendar and it has been slowly getting more manageable, the number of ‘unofficial’ events and shows still makes for a very crowded calendar. There is a fatigue within the industry of going to more than what they absolutely have to attend and it dissolves the message and decreases the interest. There’s the nuts and bolts, the gritty question of how the shows are run, which is awful. Make no mistake about it, it’s awful…In the past, Spring Street seemed to function pretty well. You can get in as a regular editor or journalist or retailer, you could just slide right back to the elevators. And then it got complicated this year. I think the overall thing is an organizational problem. When we’re in Europe, particularly in Paris, we go to five, six, seven, sometimes, pretty good shows a day, sometimes two or three really great shows and exciting shows. You just never have the conversation about the organizational breakdown. I think somehow New York has to figure out how to eliminate the negative on that.” — Cathy Horyn, critic at large, The Cut at New York Magazine

“I cannot say that New York Fashion Week is not working for us. I do think it could work better. I do think that there are ways that people who are not in our position could make their shows more accessible to people. I think that there seem to be some organizational issues. But those don’t really impact us.” — Alex Bolen, ceo, Oscar de la Renta

“It feels like anarchy. There’s no central point of interest or structure for the press and buyers, and it’s really impossible to cover the number of shows that are happening. I don’t think it can be fixed until fashion in America finds a new equilibrium. We are still suffering from the fallout of 2008.” — Nanette Lepore

“The idea of being able to discover something completely new and visionary from a young designer is becoming a thing of the past. There are still too many brands showing unnecessarily and we feel there should be more regulation of the calendar.” — Sylvie Picquet, partner, PR Consulting

“Abysmal, unconscionable, cruel, sadistic, mercenary, embarrassing, unhealthy — and I am specifically talking about the shows at Spring Studios last season…It’s not the anyone-shows nature of New York Fashion Week that gives American designers a bad reputation. It’s the lack of attention to (or interest in?) creating a comfortable and safe experience at most of the shows… I’m not interested in another Fashion Week in June. This year’s event conflicted with my vacation plans. Guess who won.” — Eric Wilson, fashion news director, InStyle Magazine

“I thought the fashion show was a very dated concept, which is why I’ve tried lots of other things. In the end, I think the fashion show now is maybe more important than it was before. But it is not important to show the long-lead press your clothes and that handful of journalists that once could make you or break you. It is to create an Instagram-able event with people in the audience that everyone wants to look at, people Instagram-ing the things you sent to them before the show, Instagram-ing themselves at the show. That is what you’re creating, you’re creating an event. Now, to create that kind of an event, you have to do it at a period of time when everyone is together, when everyone’s in town, when all the models are there, when all the celebrities are there. So I do think that Fashion Week still makes sense because everyone converges on a place at the same time so that you can have an event so that it can be shot out to the world in a big sort of boom. And that to me is now the purpose of a fashion show: to create an event that people who aren’t there can feel a part of. — Tom Ford

“This whole system needs an overhaul. We are living in the vestiges of a print-schedule world. It’s time to stop pretending that it works.” — Stella Bugbee, president, The Cut

“I find the whole circus may be no longer as necessary, especially for a lot of shows it is no longer crucial. Young people don’t buy like this. They buy item by item. They don’t buy any sort of runway set. They look at it but they are not intrigued in the same way.” — Li Edelkoort

“As a business owner, when we do shows in September and February, it’s impossible to ship and four weeks later it gets marked down. I’d rather not do the shows and do pre-collections, but it is fun to do shows as a creative person. As a person who counts money at the end of the day, it’s not a good business move.”  Laura Kim, Monse, co-creative director, Oscar de la Renta

“There’s always a lot of complaining about, like, ‘Why have a fashion show anymore in the digital age?’ I think Fashion Week and fashion shows are great and I like the system. I don’t think it’s a broken system. Maybe it’s just people are tired of doing it so much?” — Mike Eckhaus, Eckhaus Latta

“If I didn’t do [my show] in September or February, I’d probably just do it at my house, like in a random month. I don’t mind when the show is and I would be happy to change if [the CFDA] asked. It’s just the act of doing it that is exciting for me. Because I think it’s your moment to say, ‘This is who we are, this is what we stand for, this is what the environment looks like.’” — Brandon Maxwell

“Right now, I think that the schedule of NYFW is quite chaotic. The appointment of Raf Simons at Calvin Klein definitely helped, and the comeback of Proenza Schouler this September will be important for the whole week. However, there are too many labels showing and, to be honest, most of them are not so relevant. I think the lack of editing of show calendars is becoming a global problem. I think something similar is happening in Paris.” — Angelo Flaccavento, Milan-based journalist

“With the decentralizing of the two NYFWs, it made it so much more difficult to get around, to attend all the shows. There is only so much time to get from one appointment to the next.” — Elyse Walker

“Generally, the talk in the industry is quite critical with respect to New York Fashion Week to the slight detriment of the overall American fashion business. We always go to NYFW in February and September. The problem with the June/December, or in any case, the resort shows, being a retailer, is that the show calendar has now become ongoing and there is too little time to actually stay in the office and implement all your work. Thus, you might need to renounce participating in the trip.” — Federica Montelli, head of fashion at Rinascente

“NYFW can often feel disjointed compared to other fashion weeks, and there is less noise made. In Milan, Paris and London, there is an energy across the city and fashion defines the city for that particular week.” — Eda Kuloglu, chief merchandising officer, Al Tayer Group in United Arab Emirates

“New York Fashion Week feels very business-driven compared to the other fashion weeks. The whole mix of creativity seems less highlighted; it’s difficult to pinpoint the city’s point of difference. Where you can picture Paris Fashion Week, where the creativity and savoir faire are highlighted, for New York it’s difficult to say. It feels quite classic. There is no real fashion week in L.A., but the city is super-strong in terms of creativity. Fashion is mixing inspiration from food, new technology, lifestyle, including the surf and skate communities, music and the film industry. You’ll often meet someone who’s doing a fashion line but who is first a surfer, say, and is also in a band. It’s very dynamic, with this feeling that anything is possible.” Jennifer Cuvillier, style director, Le Bon Marché

“When brands show independently, out of the show calendar, it’s chaos. The calendar is a big problem for buyers and press because to go somewhere in the world to see a show out of season is a huge cost that unless brands pay full expenses for, few clients can afford to travel as much. Between show season and market season, we are already traveling nine months out of 12.” — Riccardo Tortato, fashion director e-commerce, Tsum


On June Fashion Week:

“I think it is a bit too much considering how that affects the schedules of the merchants and editors. As an industry, we should really try to work on creating exciting entertainment and new ideas for the two weeks that remain the most important.” — Daniella Vitale, ceo, Barneys New York

“I have no clue what to make of the June fashion week, which just seemed to be random shows and assorted seasons. It felt scattershot. As a journalist, my job is to serve the general reader and it doesn’t serve that reader to give them a drip-drip-drip of diluted fashion news. The passionate fashion fan is probably fine with that. But the more casual reader wants to get a sense of an upcoming season, wants to understand how fashion fits on the cultural landscape, wants to get a look at the big picture. There are the rare brands that have an outsize influence on fashion or culture. Whenever they show, they tell a consequential story. Mostly, though, a single brand only tells part of an overall story. I don’t want to give my readers pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and ask them to assemble it. It’s my job to assemble it for them.” Robin Givhan, fashion critic, The Washington Post 

I don’t understand [NYFW June] at all, except it might be nice to take a vacation in August.” — Stacey Bendet, Alice & Olivia

“There’s no nucleus. If the shows were more concentrated and centralized, it would help. I think that two shows a year are plenty. If they want to do June instead of September and pick some other time instead of February, that’s something else. Where that’s concerned, it should be a majority agreement and not led by one everybody follows like sheep. And the rationale has to be good. But I’m not the one to lead that charge.” — Yeohlee Teng

“June as a way of looking at spring may not even be enough of a change. Maybe we need to have the fashion week closer to having [the collections] coming into the stores. To have a show in June that is going to be for the following spring, that doesn’t make any sense. People have long since forgotten about it.” — Valerie Steele, director and chief curator, the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology

“As far as rethinking the show calendar, I agree that it’s best as a ‘to each his/her own’ system. It’s impractical and impossible to impose a calendar. As a retailer, we go where they go. We need to swing with experiments and new models. I have my own opinion, which supports more emphasis on the June cycle designed with ‘chapters’ and drops, but again, it’s a brand-by-brand decision, not mine.” — Linda Fargo, senior vice president, women’s fashion director and store presentation, Bergdorf Goodman

“If I didn’t do [my show] in September or February, I’d probably just do it at my house, like in a random month. I don’t mind when the show is and I would be happy to change if [the CFDA] asked. It’s just the act of doing it that is exciting for me. Because I think it’s your moment to say, ‘This is who we are, this is what we stand for, this is what the environment looks like.’” — Brandon Maxwell

“Regarding the June fashion week in New York, I think it’s unbearable for journalists — there is too much going on in Europe with the men’s shows, the resort catwalks and couture. At the same time, I think its timing might be good and interesting for buyers, since September is really late for them. I honestly also think that the men’s fashion week in New York was a kind of fiasco.” — Angelo Flaccavento

“We believe the power of a fashion week is building a critical mass of designers showing during a concise week. This builds energy, attendance and attention for New York designers. Whether it’s in September or June, it needs to be anchored by the brands with the most commercial and editorial clout to drive attendance.” — Josh Schulman, ceo and president, Coach

“There needs to be a stricter brand matrix and more structure. The convenience of consolidating for one fashion week so editors and buyers who should not have to travel for six-plus months cannot be understated.” — Lauren Santo Domingo, cofounder, Moda Operandi

“I’m not into [June shows]; the calendar is already rushed. It doesn’t feel like it’s the right solution to the New York fashion week chaos. I think this is a reaction to overseas factories becoming more and more difficult to work with and designers trying to streamline production. It’s not a solution.” — Nanette Lepore



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