Today officially begins the bloated industry enterprise known as New York Fashion Week. It's an eight day marathon of runway shows, presentations and promotional events (nine if you count the shows that happened yesterday) crammed into every available hour, and if there's consensus about anything, it's that the whole thing has gotten out of hand. One solution:
Kick the guys out.
The Shophound has long been of the opinion that men's designers get short shrift by having to share in New York's women's Fashion Week and being forced to fight for attention from the press and for premium venues. New York is the only major fashion capital that does not separate men's and women's shows into two different weeks, a situation that happened in the late 1990s when the industry moved it place in the international schedule from post-Paris to pre-Milan. Today's WWD reports that CFDA has been meeting with men's fashion editors and show promoters to explore the possibility of creating a new Men's Fashion Week in New York for the first time since the 1990s. This would subtract at least 40 shows from the overcrowded Fashion Week schedule, and potentially lure designers like Thom Browne, John Varvatos and Calvin Klein Collection back to New York to show. Additionally, it would allow smaller, independent men's designers more opportunity for press coverage in an environment more suited to their audience (i.e. not in front of a Maybelline sponsor booth). Most importantly, it will allow them to show in sync with their market, which is long over by the time women's Fashion Week rolls around. As if to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the current arrangement, Rag & Bone, Gant by Michael Bastian and even Ralph Lauren staged shows and presentations last week, instead of during Fashion Week as they have in past seasons.
CFDA CEO Steven Kolb emphasizes that discussions are only in the planning stages, but considering the players involved, we feel confident predicting that it will happen sooner rather than later, possibly as early as this Summer. For industry people, it will ease the the hectic crush of the current Fashion Week arrangement, and for fans, it will yet another Fashion Week to follow. Everybody wins.