The all-virtual New York Fashion Week kicks off. “It’s about business. And survival.”
The New York Fashion Week in 2020 kicked off with no celebrities, no paparazzis, no crowds, no Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Proenza Schouler, Tory Burch, or other regular heavyweights of the fashion world except Tom Ford, who will show his new collection virtually for the closing event Wednesday night, as this Fashion Week will last only three days, from Sunday evening to Wednesday. Many have decided to show later in the year, or in a different format. But no matter who was there, this edition has something unique: It’s about business. And jobs. And survival.
“This is about jobs … it’s about people’s livelihoods. It’s about moving forward, but cautiously, with safety in mind,” said Steven Kolb, CEO of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. “Ultimately fashion is a business, and Fashion Week is a platform for designers to do business.”
The presence of Ford, Nation writes, is a symbol of the willpower of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), of which Ford is the chairman, to support American design houses of all sizes — many teetering on the brink. Historically, American high-end ready-to-wear designs have relied heavily on department stores, which were in bad shape themselves and have fallen like dominoes during the pandemic, from Barneys and Lord & Taylor to Neiman Marcus.
Sunday evening kicked off with Jason Wu’s show and with a virtual gala from Harlem’s Fashion Row, which is holding its 13th annual Style Awards. On Monday there’s a version of the annual CFDA Awards — usually presented with fanfare at a glitzy June gala, but canceled this year. The winners will be announced by video. Rebecca Minkoff and Christian Siriano are other artists that will show their spring collections in person. AP reports that designer Anna Sui will be presenting a video of her new spring collection, partly inspired by a documentary she saw on the French female Impressionist painter Berthe Morisot, and by a variety of influences Sui was thinking about during those long stretches of time at home — including beautiful home-baked pies.