In an effort to toning down the circus-like atmosphere at Lincoln Center and restore its reputation as a high-end, exclusive affair, New York Fashion Week's leaders decided to cut back on invites, tightening security and expanding its digital footprint for this season. In simple words “The creation of a bigger chaos”.
It is important to note that is not just Lincoln Center that has added to the chaos. As was the case last season, a number of major designers showed their collections offsite, ranging from Diane Von Furstenberg—who debuted her collection and anniversary show in Tribeca—to Tommy Hilfiger, who chose an Upper East Side venue. And that's just the shows that are directly tied to the official Fashion Week calendar. More than 25 brands are showed at Milk Studios' Made Fashion Week in Chelsea, and fashion-industry favorite and now designer for the luxury brand Balenciaga, Alexander Wang sent buyers all the way to Brooklyn. The calendar couldn’t be all-the-more perilous in the face of what was the harshest Winter in several years.
There are so many designers to cover and every one of them is pulling and fighting for an audience. Realistically, you cannot be everywhere—you do have to pick and choose appropriately. Whether this geniuses are hosting fashion shows, presentations or simply holding market visits, the chaotic schedule continues to be synonymous with NYFW.
Although it is true. There are many expectators and second ticket holders, the reality is that without the fans (be in the form of any kind) who will eventually will be the ones building up the name and buying from the stores designers will be nothing.
To try to ease this madness IMG started communications with the Council of Fashion Designers of America to see how the vetting process for designers needs to be more stringent. A possibility for making the schedule more manageable could be stem from Lincoln Center's new Digital District, which streamed or showed rebroadcasts for every show tied to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
While viewing shows virtually isn't ideal for buyers, consultants or the like, it is a good starting point. From there, buyers can determine what collections they want to touch and feel, to get a better sense of the quality of the pieces. But isn’t this what most buyers actually do after taken notes from the shows so why repeat then again said "madness".
The purpose of the shows comes down to making sure buyers, stylists and press insiders can get around with enough ease to do as much business as possible.
Regardless of the solution, Jarrad Clark, vice president and global creative director for IMG Fashion, which produces New York Fashion Week, said the group is hopeful it will have all the kinks worked out by the time New York Fashion Week makes its next high-profile move to Hudson Yards, on Manhattan's West Side. That move is scheduled to be made sometime between 2017 and 2018.
In the mean time we are hopeful that next season will be more organized and schedules more cohesive as this diversion of minds and ideas only makes us take steps backwards. It is important to give credit to IMG and the CFDA for trying to fix the problem. In any case I think it's important to take look back at the legacy and hard work of Fern Mellis and all that she did to make Fashion Week an accessible organized, modern and centralized platform for American Fashion and take some notes from that.