Oscar de la Renta, one of the most respected and well known figures in American fashion, has announced that he is staging a show at New York Fashion Week that will have a maximum capacity of only 350 people.
The Guardian reported on Saturday that de la Renta is only allowing those attendees with a "legitimate professional purpose" to be able to see his designs up close. De la Renta has expressed frustration with New York Fashion Week and the celebrity circus it has become. The designer has said that decision-makers in the fashion industry should not have to fight their way through "30,000 people, and 10,000 who are trying to take pictures of all those people, who are totally unrelated to the clothes" at fashion shows.
The fashion industry has been transformed in recent years by social media. The new designs and fashion trends presented at New York Fashion Week once took months to reach the general public. Now, celebrities and bloggers in attendance can take photos of the newest trends on the catwalk and post them on Instagram and Facebook, sharing them with a global audience in a matter of seconds. Industry consultant Robert Burke has said that
Sometimes you can hardly see the show because people are jumping to photograph each other. Designers want to bring focus back to the clothing. Bloggers and celebrities are important, but there needs to be balance."
Some designers, like Tom Ford, already show their clothes to a select audience and forbid any photography, but some in the fashion industry have expressed concerns that if designers are too limiting in who they allow to their shows, it could be detrimental to both the designers as the modern fashion audience is now accustomed to instant photos and live streaming of the catwalks.