NYFW Spring 2020: What to Expect at New York Fashion Week in September

A shorter schedule is changing things up for the upcoming fashion week.

As summer enters its final month, the fashion industry is gearing up for another show season, but it’s starting with a New York Fashion Week that’s a bit different from seasons past.

The biggest news for the spring 2020 collections is that NYFW will be on a shorter official schedule, down to six days of shows listed on the calendar released by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The initiative to trim down the schedule was spearheaded by the CFDA’s new chairman, designer Tom Ford, who assumed the role from longtime CFDA head, Diane von Furstenberg, in June. Upon his appointment as CFDA chairman, Ford said reinventing NYFW was a top priority.

From which designers are showing to Ford’s role as CFDA chairman, here is what to expect from NYFW spring 2020.

1. A shorter schedule for NYFW spring 2020

Models at the Carolina Herrera fall 2019 show.  Swan Gallet/WWD/REX/Shutterstock

This September, the Council of Fashion Designers of America is introducing a shorter, more compact schedule for New York Fashion Week, decreasing to six days of runway shows and presentations. The schedule will now begin on Friday, Sept. 6 — with the first show a “performance” by Telfar — and will end on Wednesday, Sept. 11 with Marc Jacobs, who will close the season once again.

The schedule will include many familiar faces and brands returning to the NYFW runway, including Jeremy Scott, Khaite, Ulla Johnson, Christopher John Rogers, Christian Siriano, Brandon Maxwell, Tory Burch, Tibi, Jason Wu, Jonathan Simkhai, Anna Sui, Carolina Herrera, Christian Cowan, Proenza Schouler and Michael Kors, among others.

2. Designers pull shows from Hudson Yards following backlash against Stephen Ross 

Prabal Gurung at NYFW fall 2019.  Lexie Moreland/WWD/Shutterstock

Backlash against Related Cos.’ chairman Stephen Ross was swift when news broke that the Hudson Yards real estate developer was hosting a fundraiser for President Donald Trump at his Hamptons home with tickets going up to $250,000. The news has led to many fashion designers pulling their upcoming NYFW shows from Hudson Yards, including Prabal Gurung — who was in talks to host his 10th anniversary show at The Vessel — and Rag & Bone, which is now looking at other venues for its spring 2020 show. 

Ross’ fundraiser also caused Dana Lorenz, who runs the jewelry label Fallon, to pen a formal letter to CFDA chairman Tom Ford and chief executive officer Steven Kolb stating she is canceling her membership to the organization because Ross’ wife, fellow jewelry designer Kara Ross, holds a seat on the CFDA board.

3. This is the first NYFW with Tom Ford as CFDA chairman

Tom Ford  Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock

This NYFW season marks the first for Tom Ford in his new role as chairman of the CFDA, succeeding Diane von Furstenberg, who held the role for 13 years. When it was revealed that Ford would take on the role, it was reported that one of the critical topics at the top of his agenda was reinventing NYFW, potentially moving its venue to The Shed at the recently opened Hudson Yards. The official venue for NYFW will remain at Spring Studios for this upcoming season.

4. Tommy Hilfiger and Zendaya move their show from Paris to New York

Tommy Hilfiger and Zendaya on the Paris catwalk.  PIXELFORMULA/SIPA/REX/Shuttersto

Tommy Hilfiger is teaming with actress Zendaya once again for his TommyNow fashion show, this time bringing the event back to NYFW. The show will take place at the Apollo Theater in Harlem on Sept. 8 at 8:30 p.m. marking the second time the designer and actress are linking for the show, which was held in Paris in March.

For the runway show, Hilfiger is introducing a new online virtual reality commerce experience to give audiences worldwide access to the Apollo Theater show. Through the VR experience, viewers can visit a virtual pop-up shop and shop styles worn by the models.

Additionally, the collection will be available to purchase ahead of the runway show in a bus parked outside the Apollo Theater the day of the show. The bus will travel to a New York City location the week after the show where customers can shop the runway styles.

The Paris runway show gave a nod to the actual models who walked the runway at the historic “Battle of Versailles” fashion show competition in 1973, including Pat Cleveland and Beverly Johnson. Top models Halima Aden, Winnie Harlow and Jourdan Dunn also walked the disco-themed runway. Hilfiger’s upcoming show is said to continue the themes of inclusion, diversity and empowerment seen at his prior shows.

5. NYFW designers schedule change-up

Models were seen crowd surfing at Telfar’s fall 2019 presentation.  Clint Spaulding/WWD

While he has regularly opened NYFW in the past, Tom Ford is moving his show to Monday, Sept. 9, at 8 p.m. The official CFDA calendar lists Telfar as the opening show at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6.

Ralph Lauren, for another, is moving his show to a nighttime slot on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 9 p.m. Last season, the designer hosted his show in the morning at Ralph’s Coffee — an intimate eatery installed in his women’s flagship store on Madison Avenue — where guests enjoyed coffee and pastries as models walked between tables.

Returning to the NYFW schedule is Tomo Koizumi, the Tokyo-based designer who became a favorite of many in February for his over-the-top, rainbow tulle gowns. The designer was flown into NYFW last season to show at Marc Jacobs’ Madison Avenue store after being discovered by stylist Katie Grand.

Pyer Moss’ Kerby Jean-Raymond will also be returning to the NYFW schedule after skipping last season, with a show slated for Saturday, Sept. 7, at 8 p.m.

6. Georgina Chapman is presenting her first solo Marchesa collection

Georgina Chapman, CFDA Awards 2019  Lexie Moreland/WWD

After the departure of the brand’s cofounder, Keren Craig, in June, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman will go forward with her first solo collection. Instead of a presentation or runway show, Chapman is hosting private appointments for the brand’s spring 2020 collection on Wednesday, Sept. 11.

Marchesa has shown its collections in a private setting since news broke in 2017 of Chapman’s estranged husband, film producer Harvey Weinstein, and his multiple accusations of sexual assault.

7. Designers Are Putting on Performances

Rihanna at the 2019 BET Awards  Frank Micelotta/Picturegroup/Shutterstock

After hosting a fashion show last season where models were seen crowd surfing, Telfar will be opening the spring 2020 season with another performance for its runway show.

Rihanna will also be back this NYFW for her second annual Savage X Fenty lingerie runway show, this time streaming the show on Amazon Prime. The runway show is said to include a number of “surprise” musical performances, however it is unclear if Rihanna herself will take the stage. The special will be available on Amazon Prime on Sept. 20.

The Blonds, for another, is teaming up with “Moulin Rouge The Musical” for its upcoming spring 2020 show on Monday Sept. 9, calling the show a “sparkling, never-before-seen theatrical runway experience” on its Instagram account.

Despite leaving NYFW for Paris, Thom Browne has joined the spring 2020 schedule for a performance installation, called “The Officepeople,” in celebration of his women’s wear collection’s debut at Bergdorf Goodman. The performance will be hosted at the department store’s Fifth Avenue flagship and will be held at 5 p.m. on Sept. 7.

8. IMG Continues its NYFW: The Talks Series 

Serena Williams at the Met Gala 2019  Stephen Lovekin/BEI/REX/Shutterstock

IMG will again be hosting a series of in-depth discussions with fashion industry leaders between Sept. 4 and Sept. 11 at Spring Studios.

The talks include “Responsible Revolution,” where model Amber Valletta, Parson’s School of Fashion dean Burak Cakmak, designer Phillip Lim and “Fashionopolis” author Dana Thomas talk sustainability; “Meet E!’s Front Five,” where models Halima Aden and Lily Aldridge, actress Luna Blaise and designers Jason Wu and Kim Shui discuss what inspires them; “In Conversation with Negin Mirsalehi” where the influencer discusses her growing business; “Innovation on Trend,” where Rag & Bone founder Marcus Wainwright, SpecialGuest co-founder Aaron Duffy, Cirque de Soleil Entertainment Group chief executive officer Diane Quinn and SAP global chief marketing officer Alicia Tillman discuss innovative ways to use technology; “Breaking Tradition in Streetwear,” where photographer and designer Christelle de Castro, designer Va$htie and Chinatown Market chief executive officer Mike Cherman discuss breaking boundaries in streetwear; and “Women on the Move,” where Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner, Chromat designer Becca Mccharen-Tran and model Lauren Wasser discuss moving the fashion industry forward.

Wheaties is also teaming up with tennis star Serena Williams for “Breakfast of Champions,” where the 23-time Grand Slam winner will talk about what it means to be a champion alongside Endeavor chief marketing officer Bozoma Saint John.

9. NYFW Will be Live-streamed

Barry Manilow performing at the Michael Kors Fall 2019 show at NYFW.  WWD/REX/Shutterstock

IMG and Endeavor Streaming will launch NYFW: All Access, a new direct-to-consumer live-streaming service that will showcase 60 runway shows in real-time, including Anna Sui, Area, Prabal Gurung, Brandon Maxwell, Jason Wu and Michael Kors, among others. The live-steam will also include behind-the-scenes access hosted by model Emily Didonato.

The live-stream will begin on Sept. 4 and can be found at welcome.nyfwallaccess.com or through the NYFW: All Access app.

Click through the above gallery to see all the fashion trends from NYFW fall 2019.

Read more here: 

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