With New York Fashion Week around the corner, IMG, which owns NYFW: The Shows, and the Council of Fashion Designers of America are looking at a mostly digital event, with some exceptions.
Spring Studios will once again be the central location of activity for New York Fashion Week: The Shows, which takes place Feb. 14 through 18, with NYFW.com being the official online hub for all digital activity that is available to the industry and consumers.
This season, IMG will reveal a selection of curators for its biannual NYFW: BTS programming, which will be disclosed later this month. IMG plans to support designers with opportunities such as live-to-tape runway shows, content and look book shoots, panel discussions, talks, social activations and e-commerce. NYFW.com is free and available to view the programming, including fashion shows, panel discussions, talks and other events.
As reported, IMG was named official editorial partner of TikTok Fashion Month and will be providing content from the fashion weeks in New York, Milan, Paris and London to #TikTokFashionMonth.
“IMG remains committed to this February season in providing infrastructure, resources and innovations to help the New York fashion industry navigate safely through this intensely challenging time — keeping businesses operating and people working are critical to the survival of many brands,” said Leslie Russo, president of IMG’s fashion events and properties. “We are still in the middle of a global crisis, but feel it is important to come together as an industry to find new ways to reimagine and rebuild both now and for the future.”
She said several designers are still deciding which formats work best for them, “but it’s great to see all kinds of ingenuity around debuting collections within the guidelines they have to work with.”
Jason Wu is having a socially distanced show with a limited, by-appointment audience that is being produced by IMG Focus, IMG’s in-house production arm. Wu’s show will be livestreamed on NYFW.com. The show takes place Feb. 14 at 5 p.m. (Wu is also on CFDA’s Runway360 and the official calendar.) Wu held an in-person show at the Spring Studios’ rooftop last Septemberl. He created a green oasis, courtesy of his show sponsor, Lowe’s, with a small, socially distanced audience.
“I am thankful to be working with IMG again for the second season and collaborating with their incredible team to navigate this challenging time. Despite this uncertain moment for everyone, I’m proud of the creative ways we are continuing to help the industry, not only for my business, but all of those that work in fashion in our amazing city,” said Wu.
Steven Kolb, chief executive officer of the CFDA, the owner of the official NYFW Fashion Calendar and schedule, is looking at nearly a complete virtual fashion week, which takes place Feb. 14 to 17.
“We were very encouraged by the incredibly positive response from the industry following the launch of Runway360 last September. As we now approach the second New York Fashion Week since the COVID-19 measures were enforced statewide, there are glimmers of hope with the rollout of the vaccines,” said Kolb. That said, he noted that the U.S. is still very much facing the height of the pandemic, and based on the designers the CFDA has been in touch with, the only in-person show he’s aware of is Wu. He believes everyone else is doing virtual.
“Given this, we look forward to Runway360’s continued growth next month and are excited to see how brands will creatively showcase their new collections using this important business tool that allows them to connect with retailers, buyers, consumers, as well as domestic and international press,” added Kolb.
Last September, the CFDA launched Runway360, a digital platform that serves as a centralized hub and business tool for the U.S. fashion community. The platform enables designers to connect directly to industry stakeholders and consumers. The portal incorporates key aspects of the designer’s business from fashion shows to press, sales and consumer activations in order to drive sales and showcase American fashion creativity.
“Whether designers show during the official NYFW dates or at another time that better sits with their business, the CFDA continues to be committed to supporting those who choose to do digital activations through Runway360,” said Kolb. “Barring any unforeseen challenges, we anticipate a return to physical shows in September, and our designers are already expressing interest in showing during NYFW then.”
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