NEW YORK — Ralph Lauren is joining the men’s show circuit in Milan and New York.
The designer, who has not officially taken part in a men’s fashion week on either side of the Atlantic in years, will present his spring 2016 men’s Purple Label collection on June 20 during Milan Men’s Fashion Week. The presentation will be held in the Ralph Lauren Palazzo, the former residence of Via San Barnaba and home to Ralph Lauren’s new luxury concept, which is set to open in September. This is the first time the brand has shown in Milan since its World of Ralph Lauren Men’s Wear show in fall 2003.
The news underscores the brand’s renewed focus on Italy and increased focus on Purple Label. Earlier this month the company revealed it is transitioning to a different operating model and said Ralph Lauren Black Label is being absorbed into the Purple Label collection on the men’s side with its luxury price points slightly broadened to incorporate a tiered pricing strategy.
“Showing our Purple Label Collection in Milan has even more significance presented within the special environment of our palazzo. It perfectly captures the sophistication and refinement of the brand,” said Ralph Lauren, chairman and chief executive officer of Ralph Lauren Corp.
But while the designer is boosting his business overseas, he also is not forgetting his American roots and has decided to present his Polo Ralph Lauren collection during the inaugural New York Fashion Week: Men’s, which takes place from July 13 through 16.
This is a big get for the inaugural event, which is being run by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and it follows an earlier announcement from John Varvatos, who opted to move his runway show from Milan to New York.
The journey to New York Fashion Week: Men’s has been a long one riddled with invitation-only meetings and the search for sponsors, but things are starting to solidify. The CFDA has revealed the final schedule along with a new partnership with Dockers and Fashion GPS. Amazon, DreamWorks and Shinola will sponsor New York Fashion Week: Men’s.
Following Agentry PR’s New York Men’s Day on July 13, which will showcase contemporary men’s wear designers, Thom Browne — who will still hold his men’s runway show during Paris Men’s Fashion Week — will open the week with a presentation and Varvatos will close the event.
Other participating designers include Michael Kors, Calvin Klein (who is holding a runway show in Milan), Rag & Bone, Public School, Billy Reid, Todd Snyder, Michael Bastian, Ovadia & Sons, Robert Geller, Duckie Brown, Tommy Hilfiger, Coach, John Elliott + Co, Perry Ellis, Orley, Hickey Freeman, Nick Graham, Richard Chai, Parke & Ronen, Asaf Ganot, Ricardo Seco, Greg Lauren, Capsule, Nautica, Rochambeau, Theory, Craft Atlantic, Loris Diran, Tim Coppens, Siki Im, Thaddeus O’Neil, Alexandre Plokhov and N.Hoolywood.
Dockers will also sponsor an additional platform, Platform 3, which will feature presentations from emerging men’s wear designers including Lucio Castro, Timo Weiland, Ricardo Seco, Engineered For Motion, Anzevino Getty, Gypsy Sport and Thorsun.
“The schedule for the inaugural New York Fashion Week: Men’s reflects the diversity and caliber of talent in American men’s wear, which ranges from established to emerging,” said Steven Kolb, chief executive officer of the CFDA.
The event, which will take place at Skylight Clarkson Sq in SoHo, will also mark the beginning of a new long-term relationship between the CFDA and Fashion GPS, the software company that manages digital fashion week invites. Fashion GPS will serve as the CFDA’s preferred technology provider. This is another move by the association to better manage the New York Fashion Week schedules. The CFDA purchased Fashion Calendar, the official schedule of fashion events in New York, last year.
Agentry PR has also unveiled its official lineup for New York Men’s Day and a new partnership with Liberty Fairs. The biannual event will extend its presence into the Liberty Fairs trade show, which runs from July 20 to 22, with an installation featuring NYMD designers.
“The collaboration is an incredibly exciting opportunity for Liberty to support the industry and the launch of Men’s Fashion Week. The extension of New York Men’s Day brands onto our trade show floor will give them three additional days of exposure across the two weeks of events as well as bring our retailers and press a taste of what they may have missed during the week prior,” said Sharifa Murdock, partner at Liberty Fairs.
Cadillac will continue to sponsor New York Men’s Day, which will be held at Industria Superstudio in the West Village. The 12 designers participating include Boyswear, Cadet, Carlos Campos, Chapter, CWST, David Hart, Fingers Crossed, GarciaVelez, EPONYMOVS, Kenneth Ning, Matiere and PLAC. Six designers will present their spring 2016 collections simultaneously over a two-hour period in the morning and the other six will present in the late afternoon.
Melody Lee, director of brand strategy and planning at Cadillac, said, “As the presenting sponsor of New York Men’s Day, we are committed to enabling emerging talent to push the boundaries of style and design, and embrace a mindset of individualism, risk-taking and entrepreneurial daring.”
Other sponsors include hair-care line Oribe, footwear chain Johnston & Murphy and American Woolen Company, which will provide select designers with fabric to create branded looks to be displayed on site at the event.