New York Fashion Week is like March Madness to the fashion industry. But why? Why is there so much hype around it and is it even still effective for fashion brands? Being a fashion blogger/style coach, I certainly think it’s still effective.
But with so many brick and mortar stores closing down and a lot of designers pulling out of NYFW and no longer showing their collections there, it kind of makes you wonder. How/Why is NYFW important and is it still relevant?
Looking back at the start of Fashion Shows and their purpose altogether, they were essentially started to market clothing to wealthy people back in the late 1800s to early 1900s. According to Fashionista.com, designers started hiring models to wear their designs at racetracks to get media attention and to be photographed. Kinda like the modern-day “peacocking”.
Eventually, designers started to hold private shows at their salons/stores and had models walk around displaying clothing while clientele sipped on tea and what I would call finger foods. This eventually evolved to what they called then Fashion Parades or Fashions Shows that went on for about 3 hours a day weeks at a time.
By 1918, these shows became very popular and were gaining attention worldwide. Buyers from all over were coming to Europe to view these shows and officially Fashion Week was born.
In the US, the first official Fashion Week or Fashion Press Week was started in New York in 1943. They did this in an effort to promote American fashion during the occupation of France according to FashionWeekOnline.
In 1980, that is when the Fashion Shows became more popular here in the US. Thierry Mugler was one of the big fashion shows hosted at the Zenith Stadium and was presented to an audience of 6000 people. If you have never seen a Thierry Mugler show, they are quite unique.
A fun fact, the name “Fashion Week” was not even officially born until 2001 in the US. They used to call the US version of NYFW, 7th on the Sixth.
With all this being said, the main point of me sharing this is for you to get an idea of what Fashion Week is for all together. The objectives of Fashion Week are still pretty much the same. It’s not something they do just for Instagram photos.
Buyers, Personal/Wardrobe stylists, and Media are still very much important to Fashion Brands. Hell, even everyday people are getting more into Fashion Week thanks to social media. EVERYBODY is a fashion stylist on the gram, lol!
If you think about it, NYFW is not even 20 years old. That is due to the name change in 2001. With the evolution of fashion, social media and fast fashion, you would think showing at Fashion Week would be pointless.
Why not just start a collection and put it on Instagram and use that as a marketing tool? Well, that may not be the most effective way to launch a collection. I say this because if you do not have an audience to show this collection to ie followers, who is going to see it?
Anytime you market anything, you would need a big audience of interested and engaged consumers to show your product. I say engaged because you can have 1 million follows and market something to them and NOBODY buys your product. That has happened, Google it.
This would be a MAJOR reason why something like NYFW is still very important. If you are a new designer who is looking to market your collection, NYFW has a built-in audience of engaged and interested consumers to market to.
NYFW is a way not only to get national exposure, but you also get exposure internationally. People from all over the world still attend NYFW. So if I were a new designer, I absolutely would want to show my collection at NYFW.
I forgot to mention the free marketing these designers get from Social Media Influencers. I watch several channels on YouTube of Fashion Bloggers who attend these shows and they expose me to designers I never heard of.
Influencers also are another way at Fashion Week you can market your collection and build relationships to expand your brand. So basically, NYFW is still very important to up and coming and already established brands.
I love NYFW and all of the others actually just because it is an event that all Fashion lovers and creators can come together and celebrate an art that we love and appreciate. Just like people who come together and celebrate sports.
If you like me and not able to attend the shows to celebrate in person, you can watch the shows online.
Ways To Watch NYFW
Of course, you can always go to NYC to view the shows in person. They actually sell packages online to attend shows at this link here.
NYFW is one of my favorite fashion events, I made a whole post about why here. But if you’re like me and are currently landlocked to a JOB, then flying to NYC may not be a viable option for you. Don’t fret, because we can look at the shows ONLINE!
These apps will allow me to watch the shows for FREE and keeps you updated on the schedule of the shows.
All in all, Fashion Lovers are a part of what keeps NYFW going. Outsiders will never understand why we enjoy watching men and women walk down a runway to music in pretty clothes, lol. That is perfectly fine with me, I don’t get a lot of things other folks do, lol.
One day I plan on attending a Fashion Week in-person to further keep them alive and I hope you can attend one too if you’re obsessed like me. For now, Auf Wiedersehen (if you watch Project Runway, you know what that means, lol)!!