New York is to be considered one of the fashion capitals of the world, but recently, New York Fashion Week has been called a bit of a snooze fest by many critics as of late, and large brands like Rodarte, Thom Browne, and Proenza have decided to opt out of NYFW in favor of showing their collections in Paris. Maria Grazia Chiuri, and Jeremy Scott have both decided to show their collections for Dior, and Moschino respectively, in LA. These designers are constantly offering something fresh and new, and it’s hard to see them go. Of course, household names like Michael Kors, Tom Ford, and Alexander Wang are staying in New York, it’s hard to stay excited when we kind of know what we’ll be seeing. Most of what NYFW has offered us in the past couple of years are just the large trends of athleisure and silk slip dresses being redone in different ways.
What is happening? New York, in itself is full of extremely creative, people, who are constantly thinking outside of the box. It’s a true melting pot of different cultures, styles, and ideas. Alexa Chung even said once, if you want to work in fashion, New York is the place to go, because there will be ten people backing you up with millions of ideas on how to help. So if that’s the case, why is New York Fashion Week just a showcase of things we’ve seen over and over again?
I think the biggest problem, is that fashion is being seen as a business now more than ever. The designers aren’t really to blame, in my opinion, because I feel they are being pushed to churn out things that they know will sell, rather than take risks and do something new. And New York, being just as business oriented as it is creative, is obviously a culprit of this. Fashion Week isn’t really a time to play it safe, when it comes to a new collection, and I think New York Fashion Week has been seen as one large review of what’s selling well at the moment. I think people on the business side of brands need to understand that in fashion, “what sells” isn’t always the best plan of action as far as showcasing a brand’s true talent.
I also think that there is far less of an independant fashion scene in New York. It’s hard to get noticed as an indie designer in New York, because one, there are millions of other independent designers, and two, there aren’t a lot of popular news outlets that specifically feature up and coming designers, like London’s i-D. New York is such a unique space, full of designers bursting with new ideas, we need to allow them to show their talent, and give them spaces to make names for themselves. Perhaps if we try and push for fashion week to be a place for creativity rather than business, we can save NYFW from becoming (dare we say it) basic!