Get ready for a month-long extravaganza where the biggest and best designers in the world show their Spring Summer 2020 collections, because the first of four fashion weeks is kicking off proceedings.
New York Fashion Week (September 6 to 11) comes before London, Milan and Paris, and is often seen as the younger, cooler counterpart of these more established events.
We can always rely on NYFW to set trends and bring drama, and this year is looking like it will be no different. Here are the key talking points ahead of NYFW…
A shorter schedule
The Council of Fashion Designers of America organises NYFW, and this is designer Tom Ford’s first season in charge of the CFDA. His first – and biggest – move was to cut down the schedule to just five tightly-packed days.
The brands Opening Ceremony and Rachel Comey are the only real losses on the schedule – other than that, it’s business as usual. All the familiar NYFW stars will be showing, from Michael Kors and The Row to Brandon Maxwell and Ralph Lauren – and of course, Marc Jacobs still has the closing spot.
This is a particularly exciting season for Tommy Hilfiger, as it’s the first time the brand will be showing its collaboration with Zendaya in New York – in February she debuted her collection in Paris with a show full of high profile black supermodels.
Sadly, Thom Browne is still missing from the schedule – he used to show in New York but has decamped to Paris for the past few seasons. To fill the Browne-shaped hole, the brand is hosting a performance installation at Bergdorf’s on September 7. Most of Browne’s shows are basically like dance and art performances in themselves, so this surely won’t disappoint.
Savage x Fenty is back
Rihanna might currently be living in London, but she’s taking her lingerie brand Savage x Fenty back to New York the season. She’s only done a runway show for the brand once before, at NYFW last September. The show swiftly went viral due to the diverse range of models walking the runway – not to mention the fact that heavily pregnant Slick Woods walked in the show, only to have her waters break a few hours later.
On September 20 we can only imagine Rihanna will be back with even more of a bang as this show will be streamed live on Amazon Prime, and everything will be available to buy immediately. On Instagram Rihanna writes: "We are working on creating the most bold, sexy, super energetic experience you can imagine!!"
Political grievances rumble on
Even though Rihanna will undoubtedly bring some much-needed positivity to NYFW, the build-up to the event has been dogged with controversies.
The fashion industry is largely left-leaning, with many designers consistently speaking out against the presidency of Donald Trump. When NYFW’s ties to a Trump-supporting billionaire, Stephen Ross, were revealed, there was an outcry from big-name designers like Prabal Gurung.
Some shows were set to be held at the newly updated Hudson Yards, the work of Stephen Ross’s development company. Ross recently hit headlines for throwing a re-election fundraising event for Trump at his house in the Hamptons. His jewellery designer wife, Kara, also attended the event, and has come under scrutiny because she’s on the board of the CFDA.
7/10: My goal here is to start a dialogue and maybe, hopefully, change some minds.— Prabal Gurung (@prabalgurung) August 7, 2019
I was previously in conversation with Hudson Yards' The Vessel as the venue for my brand’s upcoming 10 year show during NYFW. When I heard about this fundraiser, I chose to pull my participation.
Many designers felt uncomfortable about these ties to Trump via the couple and designers like Gurung and Rag & Bone shifted their shows away from Hudson Yards. Meanwhile, Dana Lorenz of Fallon Jewellery cancelled her membership to the CFDA because the organisation refused to kick Kara Ross off the board, according to Fashionista.
Political protests are a common feature of NYFW, and it’s likely these political grievances will stoke even more rebellion on the catwalks.
Some strange appearances
My latest project is glam, exclusive and sure to be straight fire: The Cheetos House of Flamin' Haute runway show is going live in NYC on 9/5 at 6:45 p.m. ET.— Chester Cheetah (@ChesterCheetah) August 29, 2019
Give this tweet a like to stay in the loop. #CheetosFlaminHaute pic.twitter.com/q9LKaeWm2r
While there aren’t many surprises on the schedule this season, there is one show that definitely stands out as… unusual. Cheetos – the snack brand – is holding a runway show which it describes as "inspired by consumers’ love of Cheetos and their own interpretations of the Cheetos look".
We’re not entirely sure what this means, but we imagine it will involve a lot of orange and cheetah print as an homage to the brand’s mascot. This isn’t exactly an official NYFW show – Cheetos are jumping on the fashion bandwagon to create some buzz.