NYFW heads to smaller venues

Fashion has always been about who’s in and who’s out. This year, it’s looking like New York Fashion Week is going to be out — of Lincoln Center for the performing arts that is.

In 2010, NYFW made the move uptown from Bryant Park in search of more space. At that time, smaller designers were the ones who held off-site shows. Designers who were popular enough showed at Bryant Park or Lincoln Center. Over the past few years, however, many popular designers have opted to forgo the traditional runway show in favor of more private viewings of their collections. Some flock to Hell’s Kitchen, Fifth Avenue penthouses, piers or hotels.

There is a range of reasons for this change, from the hefty price of the shows to the desire to appeal to a broader customer base. Fashion and beauty brand Tocca’s Fall/Winter 2015 presentation was a private viewing.

Emma Fletcher, Tocca’s designer, said of the switch, “Tocca is going more direct to consumer; this is a far more wearable collection than that in the past. Our online presence is going to be bigger. It’s nice to be able to control a lookbook. Shows are fantasy, but this is more sellable and wearable.”

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Fletcher poses a great point. Other designers — including Trina Turk, Helen Yarmak, Diane von Furstenberg, Vera Wang, the list goes on — have recently been holding more private shows. The style of presentations allows guests to interact with the models and get an up-close look at the collections without feeling rushed by the speed of a runway show. Another advantage of the more laid-back environment is that it promotes interaction and connection amongst the clientele.

Fashion Week will also be joining the many designers and labels who have left Lincoln Center. After the settlement of a lawsuit, the company that owns and puts up Fashion Week agreed that they would move away from Lincoln Center. It was argued that Damrosch Park, the area that houses the ever-noticeable fashion week tents, was only to be for community use as it is a New York City park. Mercedes Benz, the title sponsor of the event for the past eight years, will also be bowing out.

Without fail, the fashion industry always keeps us on our toes when it comes to trends: be it heel heights or NYFW sites, stylish evolution is certainly on the horizon.

A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Feb. 18 print edition.  Email Grace Halio at [email protected]

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