New York Fashion Week - Past, Present and Future

Posted: Feb 17 2015



“Every year the women of New York leave the past behind and look forward to the future, this is known as Fashion Week.”  Carrie Bradshaw.

If you are like us, you can’t wait for New York Fashion Week to begin each year.  It is the first of the “Big Four” (London, Milan and Paris follow it), it gives us our marching orders for the next season, and it is just ridiculously cool.  But, how did it all begin?

The concept of New York Fashion Week began in 1943.  During the turbulent times of WWII, fashion shows in Paris were cancelled and journalists found it unsafe to travel to the city.  An ingenious publicist, Eleanor Lambert, saw an opportunity and organized a series of fashion events in New York that enabled American designers to showcase their latest collections for fashion editors at top industry magazines.  It was called “Press Week” and it was designed to compete with the French couturiers that had dominated the fashion scene for so many years.  It is safe to say that Eleanor was successful in her endeavor.

Over time, Press Week grew and morphed into something too massive for designers to manage individually.  Events were being held all over the city and often times in dilapidated lofts and buildings.  It needed a new face.  Thus in 1993, Fashion Week as we know it was born and made its first home in Bryant Park.  For 16 years, Bryant Park played host to magnificent and cutting edge fashion events organized by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CAFDA).   Beneath those memorable white tents, Fashion Week rose to cult status.  In the words of Anna Wintour, “Bryant Park became the beacon of what New York fashion stands for – an industry that’s fearless, tireless and always moving forward.”

Although Fashion Week continues to evolve and change (most recently it was held at Lincoln Center and soon will move to Hudson Yards), New York’s commitment to the fashion industry has not wavered.  Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio ensured Fashion Week would continue to thrive with his direction of $15M to new and enhanced programs that will support and highlight manufacturers, emerging designers, aspiring designers, and students in New York City.   “Made in New York” has become the mantra for rising fashion stars all over the city ensuring that us Fashion Week fanatics will always have something to look forward to in the future. That makes us very happy!