NEW YORK — It’s a game of musical chairs for the men’s designers for the fall season.
Some key Europeans are heading to the U.S. to participate at the next edition of New York Fashion Week: Men’s while several big American names will be taking their shows across the pond.
On Wednesday, the Council of Fashion Designers of America released its calendar for the men’s shows, scheduled for Jan. 30 through Feb. 2 at Skylight Clarkson North and Cadillac House in West SoHo. New this season are Boss and Raf Simons, who will join stalwarts such as Joseph Abboud, John Varvatos and Todd Snyder, who are all returning.
On Jan. 30, the calendar will start with Agentry PR’s New York Men’s Day, which is moving from Industria to Dune Studios at 55 Water Street. “Industria has changed to an event space and knocked all the walls out,” said Erin Hawker, owner of Agentry PR. “So we’re moving to Dune, which has 100,000 square feet of space on one level.”
The designers who are committed to show at New York Men’s Day, which will have morning and afternoon slots are: Krammer & Stoudt, Bristol, Kozaburo, David Hart, Uri Minkoff, Max ‘n Chester, Private Policy, David Naman, Maiden Noir, Woodhouse and Robert James.
That will be followed by the kickoff of the CFDA calendar with Oak, Joseph Abboud and Billy Reid, who is returning after a one-season hiatus. “Billy is going to be doing a version of his Shindig here,” said Mark Beckham, senior associate of strategic partnerships for the CFDA, referring to the designer’s blowout party/show that he hosts in his hometown of Florence, Ala.
“We’re going to have a really strong designer closing each day,” Beckham said.
On Jan. 31, the day begins with Nick Graham, includes Robert Geller and Carlos Campos and ends with Ovadia & Sons and new addition, Boss. “Hugo Boss is shifting its focus and really wanted to show in New York, not Europe,” Beckham said.
Feb. 1 will open with John Elliott and will include Patrik Ervell, Rochambeau, Nautica and Todd Snyder before ending with the New York debut of Raf Simons, who will be showing his own men’s collection in New York for the first time.
“With Raf, there’s a lot of international press already coming,” Beckham said. “His announcement brought a level of excitement.”
The final day will see Combatant Gentlemen, Orley and Tim Coppens before the week wraps up with John Varvatos.
Overall, Beckham said the schedule, which includes at least 56 shows, includes a mix of both large and small brands. “We’ve worked on identifying a diverse group that will lead to the discovery of new talent,” he said. He pointed in particular to new entries Death to Tennis and Bode as well as Jahnkoy, whom he described as a “Siberian Masters graduate who lives in Bushwick” and produces a “street couture” collection.
Some of the biggest names are absent from the list including Michael Kors, who said he will show his men’s and women’s collection together in February; Tommy Hilfiger, who is one of the featured designers at Pitti Uomo in Florence, and Ralph Lauren, whose plans are unknown. His name is not listed on the Milan Fashion Week men’s calendar either and the company did not respond when asked to comment on its fall men’s wear plans. Perry Ellis is also not showing in New York and Thom Browne will once again stage his men’s runway extravaganza in Paris.
“We’re really excited about this season,” Beckham said. “While we always like to have larger brands show, they have a more-clear objective of what works for their business.” So while Tommy and Ralph may not be there, Beckham said “all facets” of American men’s wear will be represented. “We’ll have classics like Todd Snyder and Nautica and then more street-leisure lines like John Elliott and Patrik Ervell. At the end of the day, NYFW: Men’s is here to support all men’s wear designers.”
But even some of the week’s most loyal supporters are hedging their bets. Shimon Ovadia of Ovadia & Sons said he will have a runway show in New York but is also taking the line to Paris for the first time. He said NYFW: Men’s has “definitely moved a few steps forward and is more organized and will remain the main place for us. But we’re also taking a showroom in Paris for private appointments. The reality is that not every retailer is coming to New York so we felt it was necessary for us to go there to show the collection to international buyers.”