New York Fashion Week is happening. Despite uncertainty regarding coronavirus safety and best practices, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced last week that the event will take place this month but with certain restrictions and safety measures.
Starting Sept. 13 through 17, NYFW (produced by IMG and the Council of Fashion Designers of America) will be allowed to hold outdoor events with a cap of 50 people. Indoor events can also occur, but with a 50% capacity or with no spectators at all.
For instance, Jason Wu’s live New York Fashion Week show will be held on Sept. 13 at 5 p.m. with limited guests at a rooftop on Spring Studios. And for Monse, instead of showing its spring ’21 collection, it will put its unsold fall ’20 line on live models and sell the clothes directly to attendees at a rooftop presentation at Spring Studios as well.
Rebecca Minkoff is also sticking with her see-now, buy-now approach. She will be holding on outdoor presentation at Spring Studios on Sept. 15 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. to showcase the brand’s fall ’20 collection, with help from Lowe’s. The home improvement company will style and livestream the designer’s outdoor runway show, featuring shoppable Lowe’s decor. Christian Siriano and the aforementioned Jason Wu show will also be teaming up with Lowe’s for their respective events.
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While many of NYFW’s typically-featured designers — such as Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Tory Burch and Prabal Gurung — have dropped out of the season, Minkoff believes it’s important to forge ahead even in uncertain times.
“It is important to continue moving forward creatively and get back to business, even if it is a smaller presentation than usual this season,” she told FN. “Fashion Week is important to New York and the economy of the city.”
She added that digital and social initiatives have been key to business during this time as well as creating video content for consumers to access at home. At the beginning of the health crisis, there was a strong focus on the brand’s direct-to-consumer site, however, wholesale remains important.
“We have been in touch with our buyers and really have been going about as business as usual,” Minkoff said. “We are happy to still be working with our amazing wholesale partners for the new season.”
In addition to in-person events, the CFDA has launched a digital alternative to staples of the NYFW experience. The Runway360 digital platform, powered in partnership with digital B2B wholesale platform NuOrder, aims to translate all aspects of a collection launch into a virtual experience, from product presentations to consumer activations. Designers who are on the CFDA’s official NYFW schedule will gain access to a modular, customizable page on which they can showcase their collections. The portal will support experiential functions like AR/VR, 360-degree capabilities, live video streams, e-commerce extensions, consumer shopping features and social media integrations.
Veronica Beard, who presented its first runway show in February at NYFW, will take of advantage of the Runway360 and will be sticking with online assets for spring ’21. “We’ll giving the collection life through transportive imagery and video that speaks to our customer and gives her an inside look at the clothing and inspiration behind our designs,” Veronica Swanson Beard told FN. The label’s slot on Runway360 is Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. Veronica Miele Beard, added, “We’re still designing those pieces to take her from day to night, but we’re also offering her more casual and relaxed options to fit her new normal now that she’s spending more time at home.”
Other brands showing through the CFDA’s Runway360 platform includes Jonathan Simkhai on Sept. 14 at 12:30 p.m., Badgley Mischka on Sept. 15, and Cinq à Sept on Sept. 16 at 11 a.m.
In addition, many of the shows and digital presentations will be available on NYFW.com as well as IMG’s digital platform.
Check back for updates.