Is New York Fashion Week Cancelled?
One of the most anticipated fashion events this fall may be different.
COVID-19 has postponed and canceled a lot of highly anticipated events this year, such as Lollapalooza and the Governor’s Ball. It is in our best interest to social distance, wear masks, and avoid large crowds. Covid-19 has affected one of the fashion industry's largest events: New York Fashion Week. The streets of New York in mid-September will not be filled with the hottest trends and various forms of street style by fashionistas, fashion industry professionals, and influencers. For what may be the first time, the streets of Manhattan could be barren.
How will New York Fashion Week be different during a pandemic?
Cuomo Steps In
Governor Andrew Cuomo released a press release in August stating New York Fashion Week is not canceled. It will continue this season under new restrictions. Although fashion week was celebrated in February -- a month before the United States went on lockdown -- the Spring 2021 show will not be as extravagant as the previous show. The show will be compressed into three days instead of the usual week-long show. The dates are September 14 through September 16.
Businesses of all sizes have been placed in stressful situations filled with uncertainty, especially in the fashion industry. Since non-essential businesses had to close shop due to lockdown regulations, there has been a decline in in-store sales and a decline in profit to compensate hardworking employees. Not only were many employees furloughed, laid off, and had no source of income, there was also no plan put in place to support these workers in a global pandemic.
Loss of a Major Advertisement Method
Fashion week is huge for designers when it comes to advertising their new collections for people to purchase. Designers and their collections set the tone of styles for the upcoming season. Without allowing large crowds of media representatives, influencers, and brand representatives to share the new trends right from the runway, designers may suffer due to a lack of advertisement via New York Fashion Week.
Designers Opting Out and Seeking Alternatives
Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs -- some of the most known brand names in the fashion industry -- are opting out of New York Fashion Week. Michael Kors will showcase the collection digitally via social media and other digital forms on October 15. According to a Vogue Global Conversations session with Marc Jacobs, Jacobs was never able to complete the production of his Fall 2020 collection because of Coronavirus lockdowns. With that being said, Marc Jacobs will not be creating a Spring 2021 collection at all.
According to The Cut, "Jason Wu, Monse, Nicole Miller, Rebecca Minkoff, Victor Glemaud, and others will show in various “phygital” (a combination of digital and physical) formats" for the best of both worlds. Earlier this year, Congolese designer Anifa Mvuemba shook the interwebs with the preview of a 3D runway show on Instagram Live. This was so iconic, especially being invented by a Black woman creative. I hope if brands decide to utilize a method similar that they give credit where credit is due. And hopefully a paycheck.
Limited People Allowed Indoors and Outdoors
Only 50 people maximum are allowed to view the runway show in outdoor settings and everyone must wear face coverings. For indoor shows, health screenings and temperature checks are required upon entry for all crew members including designers, stylists, and models. Only a limited number of people can be in an enclosed space with face coverings.
No VIP Seating
There will be no VIP front row seats for any show. The seats meant for fashion elites such as Anna Wintour and Naomi Campbell will not be available. Consumers are used to scrolling through Instagram and clicking through stories during the shows to get a front-row view digitally. Instead, a majority of the shows will be available to view through live-streaming.
Streets Rid of Style
As far as the iconic street style that's seen on the streets of Manhattan via influencers and creatives in the fashion industry, we may not see a street show upon entry to the runway shows. How will this impact photographers and fashion publications? Will we see any trendy outfits for fashion inspiration this year? We'll have to wait and see.
Although the health and safety of people come first, the fashion industry could be impacted for years to come. How do you think the show will go on?