Should There Even Be an American Fashion Week Anymore?

New York Fashion Week is continuing to take fire from all sides. A recent piece from Business of Fashion wonders if the “traditional system” established by European houses even makes sense for American designers in 2019.

“It’s worth remembering that Geoffrey Beene and Halston, Calvin Klein and Donna Karan were not successful because they followed some European playbook,” Lauren Sherman writes, “they were successful because they didn’t.”

And now that big names and “genuine creativity” are “in short supply” at America’s marquee event, Sherman says that it’s our “place in the global fashion ecosystem that needs reconsidering.”

While “American fashion has followed Europe’s lead” for decades, Sherman writes, in recent years the most “compelling” work has been done on the fringes.

She references Rachel Comey, Eckhaus Latta, Kerby Jean-Raymond, The Row, Reformation, Doen, Supreme and others, saying that these brands all “have little to do with the [European] playbook.” Perhaps most importantly, the last three can actually “sell clothes at full price” — which is rare these days, and none of the above are big Fashion Week players.

“If the American fashion industry’s buyers and editors and executives who still hold gatekeeper status could celebrate the disruptive spirit of these labels as much as they do stalwarts like Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren,” Sherman writes, “there would be less reason to complain and more reason to clap.”

Poor New York Fashion Week though.

You can read more about it at Business of Fashion.

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