This week marks the fifth season of the “New York Fashion Week: Men’s” fashioned by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. More than 50 brands will be showcasing their spring 2018 collections in the hopes of drawing attention from editors and retail executives. Lower Manhattan has become a playground buzzing with models, designers and the photographers that follow the latest trends.
The New York Fashion Week draws a distinct crowd compared to those of Milan and Paris which house the majority of the big brands and luxury houses. Instead, New York emphasizes an attraction for feisty brands gathering from all around the world. The diverse pool of designers and fashion influences meshes in a cultural mixing pot that provides a unique take of street wear fashion and certainly acts as a frontier for unexplored fashion designs.
One trend that is characteristic of the New York Fashion Week is the emphasis on easy sportswear being present at the runway shows and presentations. This emphasis represents the casual lifestyle and the clothing that goes along with that as an American culture. This adds a layer of complexity that the designers need to deal with, as is it not simply enough to utilize or push the latest trends in the spring collection. Instead, designers need to be flexible enough with their designs to add an idea of practical casualness that would lend the designs to being worn, and not simply displayed.
The New York event is not the first fashion event of the year, which follows a month of men’s wear shows in London, Paris, Milan and Florence, Italy. A noticeable trend this year has been the refocusing on proportion, which many fashion experts and critics expect to be on display in New York as well. Clothing is bigger, adding a fluid effect as pants look more full, while shorts are even being designed to look oversized. These changes are noted to be a reference to the late ’80s and early’90s fashion but interpreted to keep in line with today’s fashion and the need for always designing something new.
The shows are scheduled from July 10 through 14, with all events taking place at Skylight Clarkson Square in West SoHo unless specified otherwise. Cadillac has heightened its commitment for spring and summer 2018 menswear by providing each designer that will have a showing at the Cadillac House Platform with an additional grant. This grant is to further support designers with bringing their fashion visions to life, but will not be provided to those unable to have a showing. It will be interesting to see if any similar grants are provided for those who do not have the means or influence to acquire a Cadillac showing, as a means of incentivizing diversity in fashion, and not just further supporting those who are successful.
One major theme for designers is to take into consideration not only what is displayed at fashion shows, but the nature of the fashion shows itself. There is an ongoing conversation regarding how fashion shows will be performed, with 13 designers pursuing alternative show formats in an attempt to address consumer relevancy towards a more “see now, buy now” model. These hybrid collections will enable faster and more access to new collections, while also providing samples for future deals with editors and fashion executives. Should the suggested changes take off, fast fashion may result in a complete restructuring to address their supply chain to match the ever increasing pace of fashion, for fear of becoming obsolete in how consumers access fashion.
All in all, this will certainly be an interesting week for fashion, especially in determining the position of the Council of Fashion Designers of America on the global stage, and whether American fashion design will retain or gain as much influence as similar institutions in Europe.