Kanye West’s show, a last-minute addition to New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, Sept. 16 at noon, is causing headaches for at least one fashion designer. Anne Bowen, who planned to launch her new streetwear collection, Nomad VII by Anne Bowen, at the exact same time, is up in arms and scrambling to reschedule.
Another headache: Naeem Khan is also scheduled to show in Kanye’s new time slot. This story first appeared in the September 14, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Bowen told WWD: “We have been prepping for a year for this at considerable financial, labor- and commitment-cost to our company. Our show date has been scheduled for months and has been on the Fashion Calendar for weeks. We went through all the proper channels to make this a reality. And just yesterday we learned that Kanye West is having a show at the same time on the same date as ours.”
“Kanye knows he is a media sensation and it is just not ethical to do this. It’s like we are David and he is Goliath. We have put our heart and soul into our show, and should not be stepped on like this,” continued Bowen.
Consequently, Bowen said she has to move her show date to Thursday, Sept. 17 at 12:30 at the same location she was previously planning — Tao at 92 Ninth Avenue.
“In order for our show to have any significance, we now have to move our date and time which is a logistical nightmare, three days out from our originally scheduled time,” said Bowen.
According to her publicist, “We’re scrambling like crazy and it’s costing us a lot of money.” She said there are cancellation fees and they’re trying to secure the same models and photographers, “and now we have to re-invite the press…We sent out printed invites by hand, and they’re useless. We’re trying to contact everyone by e-mail,” said the publicist.
As for Naeem Khan, his show is scheduled for The Arc at Skylight at Moynihan Station on Wednesday at noon.
“I am confident that the fans of the brand and those in industry who truly appreciate the art of design and craftsmanship, will come out to support us [Wednesday]. I am thrilled with the new collection and we are looking forward to a great show,” said Khan.
The Bowen publicist contended that Khan’s show wasn’t as much a conflict for Bowen’s show since Khan is presenting eveningwear and Bowen is showing a streetwear collection that is more competitive with West.
West is showing his Kanye West X Adidas Originals Collection (Yeezy Season 2), which is the second time he’s presenting it on the runway. He plans to show at Skylight Modern at 537 West 27th Street, with a performance once again by Vanessa Beecroft. Last February, he showed Yeezy Season 1, a men’s and women’s show, during Fashion Week, as well, with high-wattage attendees such as Beyoncé, Khloé Kardashian, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, his wife Kim Kardashian, baby North West, and Sean “Diddy Combs.”
Bowen has listed a complaint with the CFDA Fashion Calendar.
Steven Kolb, president of the CFDA, said that West hadn’t listed his show on the Fashion Calendar. “The first I heard about the Kanye show was what I read in the Post,” said Kolb, who then reached out to the Adidas public relations people. “There was no listing on the Fashion Calendar, and we didn’t know about it. We can’t avoid conflicts unless we know someone’s doing it.”