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What to expect from NYFW: emerging, returning and everything in between

By Rachel Douglass

7 Feb 2022

Fashion

Image: Michael Kors SS22

The fashion industry will be looking towards New York this week, as it prepares to go ahead with an extensive range of events over the six day New York Fashion Week (NYFW) period.

Scheduled from February 11 to 16, the line up kicks off with a live runway by luxury label Snow Xue Gao and will close with a show from The Blonds. While physical and digital presentations are to be prominent parts of the upcoming event, this edition of NYFW will also be home to activations for emerging designers, industry talks and immersive exhibitions.

FashionUnited has highlighted some of the top events going on during the week, as well as names to keep an eye on, programme changes and notable occasions.

Emerging and returning

Many mainstay designers will be taking to the physical runway despite covid measures, including Michael Kors and Private Policy, each accompanying their show with a livestream. Regular attendees, Coach, Gabriela Heart and Carolina Herrera, on the other hand, have chosen to stick with runway only presentations.

The schedule will also see the NYFW return of Area and Australia’s Dion Lee, which each took a short pandemic-related hiatus from the event. While the latter will be returning to the physical runway, Area will be presenting a digital presentation.

An exciting addition to this season will be the flock of emerging designers welcomed to the agenda, including the likes of knitwear specialist Judy Turner, Parsons’ alum Luchen, fluid fashion label Melke and contemporary design house Saint Sintra.

Against the cohort of new names, In the Blk, a collective promoting diversity in the industry, will be hosting an event showcasing emerging black designers. Alongside delivery provider UPS, the organisation will present three designers through the launch of a clothing and merchandise collection on February 13. Proceeds from the sales will go towards In the Blk to support its efforts in elevating black-owned fashion brands.

Cancellations and no-shows

Despite the jam-packed line up, NYFW has also seen its share of cancellations like the rest of the industry, most notably from one of the event’s regulars, Tom Ford. The New York designer announced the cancellation of his physical show back in January, opting instead for a digital presentation and expressing concern over the omicron variant. Ford’s cancellation was followed by Thom Browne, who announced he would be pushing his show back to April 29 due to covid-related logistics challenges and his current involvement in the Met Museum exhibit.

Other noteable names that were missing from the physical line up included that of fashion week regular Monse, which didn’t appear on the schedule at all, and design-duo Rodarte.

Image: Rodarte via Catwalkpictures

Instead, the Californian fashion label will be at the forefront of activations by tech firm and multi-year NYFW: The Shows partner, Afterpay. The Rodarte Experience, an immersive exhibition, will be present at Spring Studios throughout fashion week, bringing to life the work of the brand’s founders Kate and Laura Mulleavy. The two will also be present at The Art of Rodarte presentation, where they will speak on the label and their own personal experiences.

The digital world remains

As expected, the digital realm will continue to play an important role in NYFW and the events throughout. While a weighty amount of physical shows are still scheduled to take place, digital activations, livestreams and presentations are still set to be a prominent part of the upcoming event. Alongside the emerging designers who are leading the way in terms of digital-only projects, a selection of returning creatives will be taking innovations one step further.

Another Afterpay activation will see NYFW regulars 11 Honoré, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary, and Sergio Hudson implement the company’s ‘See Now, Buy Now’ feature into their live shows. At-home consumers will be able to shop the collections directly from the runways, with each show available to stream on Afterpay’s NFYW hub.

Notable occasions

The schedule only continues to expand with extra events set to take place during the week. Building on its multiyear partnership, the Black in Fashion Council has announced the return of its Discovery Showroom, its fourth edition of the event that will bring a platform to emerging black designers, including Ashya, Keama and Ndigo Studio.

Alongside shows, NYFW The Talks will be home to a number of industry centred panels at the show’s home Spring Studios. Subjects will range from the future of fashion commerce, covering fashion in the metaverse, and second life style, detailing the future of resale.

Image: NYFW: The Shows

Covid persists

Like NYFW’s previous editions, the pandemic is also continuing to have a hold on the possibility of ‘normal’ operations, with the CFDA going ahead with requirements in accordance with New York State’s health guidelines. In-person events and shows will require attendees to provide evidence of covid-19 vaccination on entry and to wear a mask indoors. Reduced guest numbers and extra space will also be implemented to ensure social distancing can be maintained.

The most recent announcement by the CFDA further highlighted the importance of safety regulations during the event. It has strongly recommended those attending to also complete regular rapid testing to ensure everyones’ safety.

Coast-to-coast experiences

An additional Afterpay project will see NYFW extend its reach to the opposite coast, bringing a range of related experiences to Los Angeles’ Westfield Century City Mall. The ShopsLA activation will be open to the public and will include live entertainment, interactive shopping experiences and more. The event will take part during NYFW on February 12 and will allow more fashion fanatics to gain access to the shows.

In a release, co-founder and co-CEO of the tech firm, Nick Molnar, said: “With events in key markets on LA and NYC, Afterpay is connecting great brands with engaged shoppers - democratising fashion and celebrating the future of retail.”

New York Men’s Day returns

The bi-annual New York Men’s Day will also be returning for this season, taking place alongside NYFW at Canoe Studios. The event, which centres around emerging designers and genderless collections, is to be sponsored for the first time by Perry Ellis. The American brand will be preparing for the relaunch of its Perry Ellis America line. Other brands set to present during NYMD include A.Potts, Cillian, Clara Son, Stan and The Academy New York. The event will be held over the course of the first day of NYFW.

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