New York Fashion Week kicks off in shadow of Oscars


NEW YORK (Reuters) – Fresh on the heels of Paris’ glittering couture week, the sartorial spotlight shifts to New York, as designers gear up to present looks for fall and winter 2020, starting on Thursday.

Formally known as NYFW: The Shows, the week’s worth of presentations, runway productions, parties and other promotional events kicks off on Feb. 6, following several days of menswear collections.

But with an earlier-than-usual date of Feb. 9, Hollywood’s Academy Awards threaten to divert at least some of the limelight – and star power – from the New York shows, which often attract celebrities like Beyoncé, Nicole Kidman, Paris Hilton or the Kardashians.

Indeed, Tom Ford, who is chairman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and has often helped kick off the New York shows, will instead stage a starry show in Hollywood on Friday.

Although some top names are missing from the roster, the audience will still see “a huge lineup of great designers,” said April Guidone, global VP of marketing and brand strategy at IMG, which runs the New York shows.

Christian Siriano, Rag and Bone, Cynthia Rowley and Badgley Mischka are among the most anticipated shows.

Kate Spade, meanwhile, will present its fall designs directly on social media. Fashion Week, an event that was once only open to fashion industry insiders, is changing with the times, said Guidone.

“With smartphones, the consumers are there now and influencers are now invited… to cover the shows and show consumers all over the world, who are following along in real time, what’s on the runway,” she said.

Last season saw the introduction of New York Fashion Week: The Experience, which afforded “outsiders” access to fashion shows – for a price. Tickets are still available, starting at around $500 for a seat at a single show. VIP packages can run to thousands of dollars.

Other widely-anticipated shows include the Blonds, who in recent seasons have electrified runways with dazzlingly produced shows themed on topics like Disney villains or gangster fashion. Marc Jacobs will wrap things up on Feb. 12, according to tradition.

Globally oriented shows include the Asian Fashion Collection, the Turkish Group Runway Show, and looks from Indian designer Bibhu Mohapatra.

Reporting by Alicia Powell and Chris Michaud; editing by Rosalba O’Brien