You may be thinking to yourself, fashion week seems impossible with our current climate. I had hopes of working at the shows this year, but sadly 2020 has had different plans. However, for the September 2020 New York Fashion Week, which is happening from September 13th-17th, the show will go on. There will be a few live events, all of which will follow New York state safety guidelines all of which will follow New York state safety guidelines like 50% capacity at indoor/outdoor venues and no spectators.. The rest will be virtual, streamed on New York Fashion Week’s website, which will see a revamp leading up to fashion week to display all the new content.

The virtual side of fashion week will also include in-depth conversations with leaders from the fashion industry. I’m very excited for these, as the concept laid out sounds very similar to Vogue’s Global Conversation series which I wrote about earlier in the year. I love getting the opportunity to learn more about the inner workings of the world of fashion, not to mention discussions on where we are going in the future. The description laid out on sounds like an interesting new idea for the show:

“To complement designer activations, IMG will continue to curate and host culturally-enriching conversations beyond the shows at Fashion Week, transitioning this season’s events to the digital realm. Virtual talks and Q&A’s will feature the creative catalysts, compelling topics and campaigns driving fashion forward.”

New York’s Governor Cuomo has also released a statement regarding fashion week, saying “New York City is the fashion capital of the world and New York Fashion Week celebrates the ingenuity of this city, and our unmatched creative talent… Safety, as always, is our top priority and we commend the hosts, and all participating designers, for their innovative, New York Smart solutions to bring this event to life.” 

I’m excited to see what possibilities designers will find for promoting their work in a world without live shows. Social media has created huge changes for how fashion is marketed, and without live events this has only increased. You’ll be able to watch fashion week from Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, anf this year these avenues are more important than ever. Designers have been relying on social media to keep their customers engaged without big events. With features like IGTV on Instagram, brands have been able to post longer videos to social media, allowing for more creativity and innovative ways to keep their audience interested.

Back in February, the Milan Fashion Week took place just as Coronavirus first reached Italy. The situation rapidly developed as the week went on, with both Moncler and Michael Kors cancelling their shows. By the end of the week, the country had over 200 cases, and was concluded with an Armani fashion show held in an empty venue. If you’re looking for some some content before fashion week, there are tons of shows to choose from. There’s a great video from Harper’s Bazaar of highlights from the show, including Versace, Moschino, and the Giorgio Armani show that closed out the week, complete with an eerily empty floor. I also recommend this show from Atsushi Nakashima.

I’m excited to see the discussions that will be taking place, along with the live shows. Christian Siriano, Jason Wu, and Rebecca Minkoff have partnered with Lowe’s to build the sets in New York. The CFDA, or Council of Fashion Designers of America, which runs Fashion Weeks around the world, will be using a new platform called Runway360 to share content for New York Fashion Week. It will include everything from online shopping and social media to virtual reality and 360-degree views of garments. I’m excited to see what these changes mean for not only the show this year, but in the evolution of fashion in the age of the internet.

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