After the success of last July’s New York Fashion Week Men’s (NYFWM) shows, there was a lot riding on the designers who presented during last week’s runway shows and presentations. The hope was that these shows would build on the momentum garnered from July’s events and help men’s fashion step out of the shadow that’s long been cast by the women’s shows. A successful NYFWM would further propel men’s fashion into the spotlight.
There were over 60 events scheduled for the week according to the CFDA calendar. While this number increased over last year, the expectation is that each season will continue to bring more designers into the fold. That’s good news for menswear which is expected to reach $110.3 billion dollars by 2017 according to a report just released by The Boutique @ Ogilvy, the retail and fashion division at the global marketing agency.
With so much at stake, the returning designers and the newly selected ones invited to participate this season can add a win to their column of victories. In upcoming articles, byteclay.com will look at some of the collections that were shown throughout the week to provide a closer look of what to expect for Fall/Winter 2016. Before we take this look at the designers it is important to take a look at the trends, hits and misses of the event itself.
The decision to separate the men’s week from women’s can be considered one of the most important successes of the event. London, Milan and Paris already have weeks dedicated to men and it’s only natural that New York follow suit given the dollars being spend on menswear. The timing of the event is also significant as many of the editors and buyers were wrapping up their stints in these other markets so moving directly to New York keeps menswear in the forefront of the news.
Another important factor is the variety of looks and inspirations shown through the various collections. The designers had strong points of few, catering to different audiences. Many are under the assumption that fashion is only for the youth however this season we saw designers presenting looks and ideas that span across generations. That’s important as 94% of men report that they have a definite style and this is not limited to the young.
The biggest trend in the shows that should continue to grow in the future is the use of social media. It was not uncommon to see social media influencers in the front sitting in places of prominence along side celebrities and the editors of the major publications. For agencies and designers it’s a win win solution as more and more consumers are looking to these influencers for their fashion advice and inspiration almost as much or even more so than celebrities. Moreover Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Snapchat are getting the images of the collections almost as fast as they are being presented.
While there were many positives this season, it is also important to look at some of the downsides this year. One of the issues is the venue itself. Converting warehouse space is undoubtedly a difficult task however this season, the entrance seemed rough and unpolished and most attendees were required to use the freight elevator to get to where the presentations were being held. The use of the elevator wasn’t bad in and of itself, it was the wait to get up and down it which was not convenient especially when large numbers where heading to multiple events. Further adding to the difficulty was the use of the escalator that served as an alternative to the elevator however was turned off throughout the entire week.
Another downside of the season was the lack of workspace. In such a large platform, it would be nice to have additional seating to work while waiting for the next show. Even though seating was limited the wifi service is definitely an improvement from last. For those attending multiple shows, travelling from venue to venue could be a daunting task. Rushing around town to get to the different shows in a timely manner is challenging and as more and more shows are added to the calendar this will only prove more difficult.
While there is a much more laid back feel to that of the women’s shows and access to the events seemed easier, fashion show etiquette seems to be on the decline. For runway shows it was not uncommon to see people standing in their seats blocking others or people taking selfies in front of the models during presentations. These distractions often made it difficult to appreciate the clothes as the designers intended. Of all the problems, let’s hope this is remedied going forward. Despite these issues, NYFWM should be around for quite some time.
Did you attend this year’s NYFWM? I’d love to know your thoughts!