By: Adriana Marie, CEO & Founder of AMCONYC.
Since the inauguration of New York Fashion Week in 1942, formerly known as press week, it has become one of the most coveted and star-studded events in the world. Seventy-four years later, we have seen the changes become more and more drastic with last year as the most disruptive ever.
NYFW used to be about exclusivity– an event during which only the industry pundits, top press, media, and celebrities could see what was coming for the following year and tantalize the rest of the world with their prestige. With the unfortunate loss of Mercedes Benz, Bryant Park tents and even Lincoln Center, New York’s fashion week has become diluted with production companies with no experience and attendees requesting tickets under the guise of being a blogger.
Although the rise in fashion looks like a walk in the park while admiring from the outside, this week has become more challenging than ever for designers to debut their creativity and build credibility for their brand. From increasing venue prices to not so fierce competition, this is what NYFW currently looks like:
Designer Fees– Designers are required to pay a tremendous amount of fees when using platforms like IMG as their stage. These fees range upwards of 40K which does not include mandatory essentials like a retained PR firm and back of the house production for the brand. They eat this cost each year which only helps them cover the participation fee, fees for things like security, radios, risers, riser security (a riser is a set of steps in the front of a runway so that press cameras are one above each other and also so that they can set their heavy behind cameras up) and the display. This makes it even more difficult for emerging designers who are not yet established in the industry and don’t have this unlimited set of funds available. There are some production houses such as AMCONYC that cater to these emerging designers and bring back the basics of fashion week with an affordable platform and price. Unlike IMG, this type of platform is one of few that were found on the interest of emerging designers who are still on the rise in the fashion industry. Over the years, many big name designers have also decided to turn away from these productions like IMG and find their own venue to showcase their brand during New York Fashion Week. However, with that brings an entirely new set of problems. See below.
Designers Getting Shortage of Press– Now that more designers are finding their own means of a platform instead of denting their pockets for New York Fashion Week, editors are scattered all over the place and the beauty of having New Work Fashion Week in one locale is in jeopardy. For instance, if DVF is showing at 1pm at Lincoln center now and Marc Jacobs has decided to split from IMG and show in some unique place near Wall Street it creates a tremendous divide. This has become a huge problem for designers because their chances of getting press are immensely shortened. Editors and media now have to really slot their schedules and forsake certain shows and take a gamble on ones that may be far out of reach, leaving a ton of gorgeous lines without press.
Inability to Control Sponsors – If you are one of the emerging designers looking for sponsors, this has become nearly impossible with conflicting production houses. Many designers have to turn away heavy-hitting sponsors because they conflict with places like IMG’s main show sponsors. They request you to run every single sponsor by them which leaves designers in a limbo when securing all sponsorships.
Without having platforms that cater to emerging designers as an ideal launch pad to stimulate affordable brand promotion, New York Fashion Week has become overwhelming difficult and the competition is cut-throat.