New York Fashion Week, more diverse than ever, opens Friday

New York Fashion Week, more diverse than ever, opens Friday

New York Fashion Week

After a SS23 show in Paris, Thom Browne will be showing in New York on Valentine’s day – © ImaxTree

The opening show on the official Council of Fashion Designers (CFDA) schedule is the RodarteAndré Leon Talley.
Few people opened more doors for people of color in fashion than the late great Vogue

In this coming season, 17 of the designers on the calendar are black creatives. There has rarely been greater representation of designers of Asian backgrounds, with 23, or Latinx designers, a further 8, in a New York catwalk season. While brands with women designers represent half of the upcoming schedule.
“I think it is important to note that in a very real sense this is a diversity and female led season,” argued Steven Kolb, CEO CFDA, American fashion’s governing body.
This runway week is also the first under CFDA president Thom BrowneTom Ford
“Thom himself is showing on Valentine

All in all, a total of 110 brands are listed on the official schedule, 76 of them due to stage runway shows and 19 to hold presentations. Additionally, a further 22 will unveil digital shows or show by appointment.

Rodarte – Spring-Summer2022 – Womenswear – Etats-Unis – New York – © ImaxTree

 Unlike, any other of the Big Four fashion weeks, New York has two parallel calendars, the key CFDA schedule and NYFW The Shows, controlled by talent agency IMG. A decade ago, some seasons boasted almost 200 events, a physical impossibility given the sheer size of the metropolis and the fondness of New York designers for showing at the tops of skyscrapers, or across the East River in Brooklyn.
“There was a concern before that there were too many shows. We have gone for a tightly curated edit and less double dates on the schedule,” noted Kolb.
That said, committed editors and buyers should expect an endurance race, ranging across the city to see shows by LaQuan SmithGabriela HearstJason Wu

New York continues to throw up young and emerging talent, with many brands enjoying the support of the longstanding CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund.
“The program has been the engine behind so many brands in the early stages of their career. We were the first behind Proenza SchoulerJoseph AltuzarraPrabal Gurung
Pointing to Raul Lopez, the American Accessory Designer of the Year in 2022; the House of Aama, from the mum and daughter team of Rebecca Henry and Akua Shabaka of California; avant garde knitwear specialist Judy Turner; and Sukeina by Omar Salam, as names to watch, who have received CFDA backing.
“It’s not so much about infrastructure or a show, it’s more about holistic investment and mentoring on how to build a business or sort out your supply chain,” Kolb stressed.

PROENZA SCHOULER – Fall-Winter2022 – 2023 – Womenswear – Etats-Unis – New York – © ImaxTree

Future growth for fledgling American brands will “come from a passion and commitment to the business. And understanding what they are signing up for is not an easy path and requires determination, focus and hard work. The other thing I have noticed is how many young designers say they had wished they had spent more time on direct to consumer. Some are a little naïve. When you ask them their ambition, they respond they want to be a global lifestyle brand. WellRalph Lauren
However, the fact remains that many of America’s biggest brands are absent this week: no Ralph Lauren; no Tommy HilfigerCalvin KleinMarc Jacobs
“Honestly, I’m not really concerned about the roster, who isn’t showing and who is showing. There was a time back in US fashion history, where Bill BlassPerry Ellis
An organization whose website has undergone a radical overhaul in the past several years. Like the fashion industry, which for far too long was an overwhelming white affair. Today the New York season and the CFDA’s own website looks a lot more like the amazing melting pot of culture that is America.
“I think our site reflects what America has become. That wasn’t always the case even five years ago. We realized that you cannot expect people to want to be part of an organization that doesn’t seem to represent them. So, we had to reach out to a lot of comminutes. And lead with diversity on runways. But more work needs to be done. We have had a conversion around makeup and hair. We need more people of color in backstage teams,” insisted Kolb.

All of which would surely have pleased André Leon Talley, whose long struggle for greater black participation in fashion is clearly bearing fruit these days.
With New York recently bombarded by arctic blasts, fashionistas will be praying for improved weather. Whatever happens, the City That Never Sleeps will certainly fete its designers. In none of the fashion capitals does music play such a key part in the fashion season as New York. Beginning with the viewing of Talley’s collection. A devout Christian, André regularly attended Sunday services in the Abyssinian Baptist Church

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