Burberry Will Shift To Buy-Now Runway Shows
UPDATED: Tom Ford Follows Suit

Burberry's Fall/Winter 2016 Runway Show held in London last month

As as public fascination for the once industry-only runway shows of Fashion Weeks around the world, the entire runway show system is being upended, Designers are now questioning the wisdom of presenting their collections six months ahead of the time when they will be available for customers to purchase, and several designers have already announced that the collections they present at New York Fashion Week for when next week will be composed of merchandise to be immediately available. So far, the biggest luxury names have mused about possible changes, none have pulled the trigger on radically altering their presentation concepts —until today. Burberry's chief creative and executive officer Christopher Bailey has announced that starting this September, the label's runway shows will present only merchandise available immediately after the conclusion of the runway show. Only two shows will be presented per year mixing both men's and women's collections, eliminating separate men's shows of which the one held a few weeks ago at London Fashion Week Men's (pictured above) will have been the company's last.
Burberry has been dynamic in recent months when it comes to taking a hard look at how it does business and communicates to customers. Last year, the brand made the decision to consolidate its various diffusion labels under a singular Burberry Brand, merging both its luxury Prorsum and more accessible London and Brit collections. It's a move that eliminates the question of what is the "real" label for customers and puts it more in line with international mega-brands like Gucci or Louis Vuitton which have always eschewed sub-brands.
How this will affect other luxury level designers remains to be seen, but the restlessness in the crowded runway show schedule is clear with major designers increasingly using their clout to show their collections when they see fit. Hedi Slimane has announced that both the men's and part of the women's Fall 2016 Saint Laurent would be held next Wednesday, February 10th in Los Angeles where he lives and maintains his studio rather than in Paris, the home of one of France's most revered fashion maisons. Tom Ford, for his part has often moved his shows around to suit his own convenience, showing in different fashion capitals and even moving his show to Oscar Weekend in Los Angeles a year ago to accommodate the shooting schedule for his upcoming movie. Last season, he abandoned the runway altogether in favor of a music video starring Lady Gaga and a Soul Train line of dancing models, and for Fall 2016, he has announced that he will show both men's and women's lines to buyers and press in intimate presentations in New York.
So no livestream, then?
The longtime paradigm of multiple Fashion Weeks in various international cities is now entering a stage of flux that could change the way fashion is presented everywhere. Hang on. This is just the beginning.

Tom Ford has announced in Burberry's wake that he too would be showing Fall 2016 Collections in September of this year. He tells WWD, “Our customers today want a collection that is immediately available. Fashion shows and the traditional fashion calendar, as we know them, no longer work in the way that they once did. We spend an enormous amount of money and energy to stage an event that creates excitement too far in advance of when the collection is available to the consumer."

Burberry’s Bold Move: To Make Shows Direct to Consumer, Tom Ford Switches Show to Consumer Schedule (WWD)


Billy Reid Will Livestream His NYFW Runway Show For The First Time Tonight At 8

Men's Fashion Week in New York is still catching up a bit with its women's counterpart, but it is coming together well. To help promote the whole effort, Billy Reid will be live streaming his Fall 2016 Men's collection tonight at 8 PM for the first time from NYFW Men's at Skylight Clarkson Square North. Click the image above to get to his site. It'll be just like being there in person. In fact, given the weather report tonight, it might even be better.


Duckie Brown Pares Down

They weren't kidding when they called it "Just A Little Duckie".
Steven Cox and Daniel Silver gave the menswear crowd a jolt yesterday morning with their surprising Duckie Brown show at NYFW Men's which lasted for exactly six looks. That's the entire collection pictured above.
What did it all mean? 
It seems clear that the duo was presenting a 'Back to Basics' moment. The label has had its ups and downs over the past few years with a surprise hit shoe collaboration with Florsheim that put the brand in front of en exponentially larger customer base than it had ever seen before. A follow-up apparel line with Perry Ellis fizzled, however, with nothing of the collaboration ever seeing production. The designers have been candid lately about the struggles of being independent designers once the lucrative collaborations end, and their response has been to pare down their collection to the most basic pieces. As the fashion world has finally caught up with Duckie Brown's signature explorations in androgyny, Cox and Silver have turned to the core items of men's clothing. Blazers, pants, shirts and coats all reshaped with Duckie Brown proportions. Sometimes, less really is more, especially when it's time to start again from scratch.


Fashion Week Is Falling Apart Again, But It's OK Because Tom Ford Is Coming Back!

Now that it has abandoned its unloved tent complex at Lincoln Center for some alarmingly stark quarters in SoHo and the glacially developing Moynihan Station in Midtown, the future of New York Fashion Week still seems to be in question. The CFDA has retained Boston Consulting Group to conduct a multi-week study to determine how designers should proceed with their seasonal runway shows in the future. With Thakoon's new owners promising to upend the runway system to provide a stronger buy-now wear-now business plan and  Rebecca Minkoff promising to put on an in-season show of her Spring 2016 collection this February (does that mean she is going to re-show the collection she already presented last September?) and replace some editors and press in the audience with customers, Designers are once again questioning the wisdom of heavily publicizing their newest collections online and through social media half a year before anyone can actually buy anything. Retailers and designers are again offering opinions, without seeming to realize that if they turned fashion week into a series of buy-now promotional events, they would have to the put on some other kinds of presentations for the next season for retailers and editors who still need long lead times to fill their stores and shoot their stories. European designers -for whom live streaming runway shows to anyone with a high-speed internet connection is far more prevalent- seem to have looked in the direction of New York to basically say, "Let us know how that goes. We're going to keep doing things the way we always have".
While New York's designers quibble about what to put on runways —their main concern seems to be keeping their collections under wraps to avoid fast-fashion copyists— one expat has announced that he will be returning to show his Fall 2016 collections for men and women in New York. Yes, Tom Ford, who has been bending the fashion system to his fit his own needs for the past two seasons, has announced that he will be doing small presentations in New York on February 18th to buyers and press rather than showing in Milan or London where he has been showing in the past. Ford has been busy moonlighting on his next movie which is why last Spring he debuted his Fall 2015 collection with a star-studded show in Los Angeles during Oscar week, and stayed off the runways altogether for his Spring 2016 collection by releasing a secretly produced virtual runway show/disco party/music video starring Lady Gaga which was a hell of a lot more entertaining than a good portion of the runway shows that The Shophound has ever attended (we have embedded it below again because it is still just so much fun to watch). For the past two seasons, Ford has proved that he has enough clout and control over his wholly owned business to basically do whatever he wants for fashion week, but like Givenchy's visit to New York last September, you can now count on Ford's intimate showings in February to be the hottest ticket that will overshadow everyone else. Perhaps he is telling us that the way to win Fashion Week is to be bold and show however you want wherever it suits you. Who will have the guts to follow his lead?

Tom Ford to Show Women’s Wear, Men’s Wear in New York in February (WWD)


Men's Fashion Week Wraps Up With Orley, Lucio Castro, deTROIT & Edmund Ooi

New York's first properly organized Men's Fashion Week finished up yesterday in a calm, collected manner that contrasted pleasantly with the exhausted get-me-out-of-here feeling one often encountered at the end of the formerly combined New York Fashion Weeks of the past. Of course, NYFW: Women's will probably generate the same kind of frenzy anyway, bit for the menswear folks who had to endure it, the lack of drama was welcome. In fact, the only question was posed mostly by contrarian journalists who insisted on posing the question, "do we reeally neeeed another fashion week?" For the big names like Michael Kors and John Varvatos, it probably doesn't matter, but for emerging and independent designers, the answer is an emphatic yes.
These are the guys who get lost in crush of hundreds of shows when forced to share a schedule with women's designers. Take deTROIT, a new label from designer Robert Molnar (pictured above). Named after his hometown (where along with New York, the collection is entirely manufactured), Molnar's collection wouldn't be getting the same opportunity for attention before, and now it gets a proper chance to compete for the attention of buyers who aren't rushing from show to show in far flung venues because all of the central ones are booked up. They might have missed Molnar's thoughtful tweaks of classic shapes in fuller, softer more current silhouettes that fit in easily into menswear trends for spring with red-painted feet for an extra dash of kookiness.
Next, The Shophound slipped into Platform 2 to checkout ORLEY's offerings for next season. Designers are getting the hang of how to use these new spaces. The Orley's decided to forgo a traditional runway and set up vignettes around the perimeter of the room with mid-century furniture and oriental rugs. The models circled the room, posing at stations to be viewed and photographed by the standing audience, negating the need for seating arrangements and giving everyone a good view while taking full advantage of the entire space. The collection. It was a better way to show off the still evolving label's dedication to intricate knitting techniques than having a model swiftly stride by on a runway. These sweaters bear a lingering gaze, and while some of the styling seemed a bit more edgy than the brand's fresh-faced fashion image would have called for thus far (no more greasy hair please and thank you), you could see how some of the cropped sweaters will sell nicely at retail when they ship at a more classic length. The show also included more woven pieces to round out a full collection as well as some striking decorated sneakers made in collaboration with Greats, and though the finale-free format made the actual finish of the show somewhat unclear, the designers got a strong ovation when they made it out for a bow.
Toward the end of the day, LUCIO CASTRO staged his runway/presentation hybrid on platform 3. Castro is another of New York's striving up-and-comers in his first seasons with retailers like Bloomingdale's and Saks who stands to gain the most from a separate men's Fashion Week. This season it was a tribute to Nollywood, Nigerian Hollywood, said to be the world's second largest film industry. This brought out inspired prints and pattern combinations on a model cast that was appropriately but not gratuitously diverse.
Up on 14th Street, a more avant garde component of Fashion Week took it stage as Malaysian born, Belgium based designer EDMUND OOI presented his first New York show. Were the many pantsless looks and cut-out styles likely to make their way into Saks or Nordstrom? Probably not anytime soon, but Ooi's year-old company has already been invited to Pitti Imagine Uomo and his last collection's show was sponsored by Giorgio Armani in Milan. Each look was full of ideas —overflowing with them, in fact, but if you can look past the trailing lacing and skimpy briefs (and some really cool shoes), you might find a uncanny eye for innovative knit effects and graphic patterns that point to an inventive designer to emerge from under all the flashy details. Ooi rounds out the spectrum of designers that make a men's fashion week in New York not only worthwhile but necessary.
Have a look at the shows in the gallery below.

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New York Fashion Week Men's Is Unveiled With Shinola, Timo Weiland, Duckie Brown & Robert Geller

Yesterday The Shophound finally got a look at the long awaited New York Fashion Week: Men's at Skylight Clarkson Square on the northwestern edge of SoHo —and it looks good. Pretty much anything would be an improvement over cramming the American men's designer shows into the overstuffed women's schedule, but the new set-up seem to be working well, as far as we could tell, though some designers seemed to have growing pains in leaving their familiar showing spaces.
The good part is that the oppressive promotional atmosphere of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is gone, and on a day where scattered showers could make traveling around town problematic, a central location saved us and others from potential drenching.  Also, since the shows are in a real building, there are real bathrooms —an amenity whose importance is not to be underestimated. The sponsors are fewer and more relevant. Cadillac's show car is parked on the sidewalk where it belongs rather than in the middle of things leaving lots of room for showgoers to sit down, charge their devices and get to work without having to squeeze into some cramped press pen. Amazon has kept its promotional presence relevant, focusing on the fashion division it is dedicated to growing. Another major sponsor, SHINOLA (pictured above), used its space to present its Spring 2016 collection, giving the Shophound a chance to chat with our friend Richard Lambertson of Lambertson Truex who have transformed the Detroit-based brand's  artisanally styled leather line into a fully fledged accessories collection ready to compete at the top levels in quality and design with other luxury brands. No longer a charming side offering to the watches and bikes, the line boasts the same sumptuous leathers we are used to seeing from Shinola, now made into beautifully constructed duffels, backpacks, messenger bags and small leather goods featuring the thoughtful topstitching and details that erstwhile Lambertson Truex fans will recognize. Lambertson now shuttles between New York and Detroit where his design studio and sample workrooms are located, and like all of Shinola's products, the entire collection is manufactured in the U.S.A.

Next we were off to check out TIMO WEILAND's presentation. Platform 3, as the venue was called is a smaller room meant for static presentations. In recent seasons, the label has been showing its menswear at the Highline Hotel's cavernous space, and the move to a smaller room was not without its glitches. perhaps next season, they will avoid making a v-shaped presentation format that basically pushed the showers into a bottleneck against the narrower end of the room. Live and learn, but the collection looked fresh, a priority with the added attention a dedicated men's fashion week will bring. Known for a twisted take on preppy clothes, designers Weiland, Alan Eckstein and Donna Kang gave us more twist and less preppy for a more sophisticated feeling and a more international look. The line looked great. The presentation format needs rethinking.

Shophound Faves DUCKIE BROWN also had some relocation pains in moving from their longtime venue at Industria to the larger Platform 2 room at Clarkson Square. Menswear's current fascination with androgyny should put the veteran indie label right in its spotlight, as Steven Cox and Daniel Silver have been mixing masculine elements and traditionally feminine materials since day one. Their Spring 2016 collection found a way to continue their techniques without looking like their models stumbled through their mothers' closets or ransacked an overpriced thrift shop like a few high-profile European luxury brands have. Unfortunately, what was uncharacteristically awkward was the show staging which had half of the models walking the runway in shadow, frustrating the photographers who, as they will, made their displeasure known vocally. Having guest seated only on one side of the runway also left large portion of the room unused which seemed ill-advised. Again, with added attention to menswear this week, one would have liked such an accomplished collection to simply be seen better.

ROBERT GELLER, however, made the most of his new space. Used to showing in along, narrow, sometimes problematic space at Pier 59 Studios, the designer took to the spacious Platform 1 with apparent ease, constructing a northern European seaside-inspired set and a J-shaped runway format that made the most of the complex's largest room. Geller's sportswear beautifully reflected menswear's slow but steady move away from tight silhouettes toward looser fitting clothes with his rich color sense in full effect. Quirky hats and knitted cummerbunds pulled the looks together. Overall it was an upgrade in presentation for Geller along with a further evolution for his label.
Have a glimpse at the shows in the gallery below

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New York Men's Day Kicks Off The Newest Fashion Week

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The official Fashion Week that New York's menswear designers have been waiting for is finally here. While it won't rival the size and scope of the Women's seasonal event that it finally extricated itself from, It is already proving why it has been long overdue —even before it has technically started.
Yesterday, New York Men's Day gave the week its unofficial kick-start with a series of twelve presentations split into two shifts, morning and afternoon from some of America's emerging men's labels. Organized by Agentry PR, the event has previously taken place a part of the formerly merged New York Fashion Week, but as with most men's shows, got swallowed up in that overstuffed schedule. Now that it has room to breathe, all the designers should benefit from more focused attention, and they rose to the occasion. The twelve labels on the roster range from a few who are probably ready for their own full shows to newbies just starting to cause a stir. Standouts included David Hart's Bauhaus inspired suits and sportswear (pictured above), Cadet's continuously evolving take on military looks —including an appearance from cult model Chad White— and immaculately styled retro tinged tailoring from Eponymous. Have a glimpse at those collections as well as looks from Boyswear, CWST, Garciavelez, PLAC, Kenneth Ning, Matiere, Fingers Crossed, Chapter and Carlos Campos in the galleries above for the morning presentations and below for the afternoon shows.

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Fashion Week's New Homes Are Just Where We Thought They Would Be

There were no big surprises as IMG officially announced the new homes for its New York Fashion Week shows, and it will be just the pain in the ass we predicted. Next season's official shows will be taking place at two far flung locations as had been widely predicted. The schedule will be split between Skylight at Moynihan Station at 360 West 33rd Street and Skylight Clarkson Square at 550 Washington Street. In addition, IMG has full acquired Made at Milk which has been providing show space for designers at little or no rental cost, and it will continue to operate independent of the other locations. That means that This September's fashion week shows will have press and buyers shuttling between 33rd Street, the western end of 15th street and the far western edge of SoHo just below Houston street. That doesn't include other popular venues like Industria, Spring Studios in Tribeca, the various Armories and any other of the off-site locations that will be required to host the hundreds of shows that aren't officially on IMG's misleadingly tight schedule.
So it really won't be that much different, although Moynihan station shaves about 30 blocks off the span of territory now that Lincoln Center is off the map. One plus is that the men's shows will be consolidated at Skylight Clarkson Square in July, so they won't have to compete for venues and production teams, and that might ease the schedule just a bit. Moynihan Station, the Farley Post Office which will ultimately become a full train station has the advantage of being right on an express stop for the A, C and E trains, but the other two locations are at least a couple of crosstown blocks away from the subway, so expect Uber to be as busy and peak priced as ever. Eventually, Fashion Week is expected to consolidate itself at the fabled Culture Shed planned for Hudson Yards, but since that isn't really expected to be ready until 2019, it looks like this is what Fashion Week is going to look like for the foreseeable future.
Get your comfortable shoes ready, fashion folks.
Oh, who are we kidding, they're never going to wear comfortable shoes.

NYFW’s New Homes: Midtown and SoHo (WWD)


Naeem Khan Brings The Shiny

As many of you regular Shophounders out here may have noticed, we have toned down out Fashion Week coverage here  over the past few seasons. it's not that we don't love a great runway show.
We do.
We just don't want to waste our time running to and from the ones that aren't so great.
Having said that, it wouldn't seem like Fashion Week without at least one full-on parade of glam, and so we have NAEEM KHAN to thank very kindly for making sure we didn't miss out.
Fashion has become so fragmented that, at this point, most designers seem to just do their own thing without regard to trends as long as they know they have faithful customers who love what they do. Khan's thing is glamorous eveningwear with no holds barred. Sequins, palettes, bugle beads, feathers and lamé are all in welcome abundance on his runways and his Fall 2015 collection, his tenth runway show, was no exception.
There's a lot more to making sparkly gowns than throwing sequins at a bias cut dress, and Khan makes sure we can see that with intricately patterned beaded embroideries, and deceptively sleek shapes. There were some non-shiny looks in chiffon or other matte silks, but the standouts were, as always, the sparkly looks including a few beautifully engineered gowns in black with gunmetal beaded geometric or scalloped patterns that fell into tumbling palettes by the time they reached the hems. For the overstaters, there was minidress in bugle bead fringe or perhaps one in ostrich feathers? Maybe the giant white fox hunting hats were a bit much, but overall, it was, as expected, a rousing and particularly satisfying show that left his audience, clients and retailers, smiling.
Have a look at some runway highlights in the gallery below

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Robert Geller & General Idea
In Dark Rooms

There was so much going on this past weekend what with the Saturday Night Live anniversary and some Basketball thing, but, there was also Fashion Week and, as always, the first few days are still heavy on Menswear in advance of the guys finally getting their own week to themselves this Summer. One wonders if, once a bigger spotlight is shining, designers will get more room to show off. On Wednesday, we visited both sessions of New York Men's Day at Industria in the West Village, which was a great showcase for up and coming (and in some cases, old and revamping) labels, but kind of crammed them into some small, hot, brightly lit rooms. On Saturday, General Idea, a Fashion Week stalwart from designer Bumsik Choi, got Industria all to itself. Choi is one of the designers who is quietly making Seoul a fashion capital to reckon with, and has developed a faithful cult clientele. Typically, Choi has opted for a runway show, but this season he went for a more efficient presentation where visitors could examine his collection in a bit more detail. As always, bold outerwear was the standout including double lapeled coats that made a striking diagonal slash of contrast across their wearers. One irony was that despite the presentation being staged in an actual photo studio, the lighting was unusually dim, making for a strangely gloomy ambiance, but perhaps they were simply trying to mitigate the inevitably unfavorable combination of heavy wintercoats and bright lighting in a smallish, white room.

Later in the day, we made our way to Robert Geller's show at Pier 59 Studios. Last season, Geller moved to a bigger studio in the complex with an X-shaped runway that beautifully showcased the collection, but for Fall 2015, he moved back to his familiar long, narrow studio for a proscenium-like set-up against a chain-link backdrop. How it related to Geller's inspiration, Aldo and Nedo Nadi, a pair of brothers form the 1920s who were Olympic level fencers, and, apparently, extremely natty dressers. As he does, Geller melded inspiration from the past to modern techniques for a striking collection, though, again, the dark, moody lighting made it tricky to get a handle on exactly what one was seeing, even from a decent seat. We hear that there were great shoes from Common Projects, but they mostly obscured to us. Maybe next season's Men's Fashion Week will give both designers better showing options in a less tightly packed schedule. They both deserve the lights on a full power.