The Evolution of Fashion Week

What is Fashion Week?

Fashion week is one of the largest seasonal events that takes place twice a year, once in February and once in September. The top designers in the fashion industry present their upcoming collections for fall and spring in a series of runway shows. When these fashion shows first evolved, they only took place in the four fashion capitals, which were Paris, Milan, New York and London. These shows were only for the elite and there was a very strict guest list. Today, international fashion weeks take place in countries all over the world.

How was Fashion Week Established?

In 1943 New York became home to the first ever Fashion Week, which was known as “Press Week”. During World War II, Americans could no longer travel to the most fashionable capitals like Paris to buy clothes and go to fashion shows. Fashion shows in America became more dramatic and serious because they wanted to draw retailers in the industry into buying American clothing. A few decades later “press Week” turned into Fashion Week and America became a serious fashion force. Shows during Fashion Week took place in locations scattered all over New York, such as department stores, nightclubs and showrooms. However, the press began to complain that holding runway shows in these locations was dangerous and posing as a safety hazard for everyone attending. It was the last straw when at a Michael Kors show in 1991 part of a ceiling collapsed, debris and plaster was falling and hitting the models while they were walking on the catwalk. New York Fashion Week needed a new location, majority of the shows began to be held in Bryant Park.

What is Fashion Week like Today?

Social media has really transformed the fashion industry in recent decades. Fashion brands rely on using social media platforms to showcase their clothing and sell straight to buyers online. On Instagram, we see bloggers and fashion influencers being paid to promote brands to their thousands of followers by simply posting a photograph of them wearing the clothing. These popular social media platforms introduced a new way of showcasing the newest upcoming style without having to put models on the runway. Recently, we have seen Fashion Week take place in Seoul, to showcase Korean style and the “Lakme Fashion Week” in Mumbai. Many countries and designers have also decided to cancel their Fashion Week due to the shows not being sustainable, for example Stockholm Fashion Week was cancelled last year.

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