When Ralph Lauren in the middle of Central Park on Bethesda Terrace lets his male and female models in camel hair coats and evening dresses strut down the stairs, they have all come: the singer Bruce Springsteen as well as the talk billionaire Oprah Winfrey, the director Steven Spielberg, who Actors Pierce Brosnan and Robert De Niro, the rapper Kanye West.
They all celebrated the 50th company anniversary of the American fashion designer with the fashion show for the next spring collection. It was the highlight of this year’s New York Fashion Week.
The New York shows ring in the traveling circus every season: buyers, fashion journalists and influencers rush from one show to the next between Manhattan and Brooklyn and then travel on to London, Milan and finally Paris. It’s a well-rehearsed game that has recently lost interest. The fashion magazine Vogue already wrote of a true “exodus” from New York.
Because the shows in New York in particular have been in crisis for some time. Big names like Victoria Beckham and Alexander Wang are missing from the calendar as well as Tommy Hilfiger. Trendy brands such as Altuzarra, Proenza Schouler, Rodarte and Thom Browne have already chosen Paris over the past few years in order to gain better visibility around the world.
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Tommy Hilfiger shows his collection in Milan, Victoria Beckham celebrates her tenth anniversary in London. Fashion revolutionary Wang is staying in town, but has concentrated on mini fashion weeks in June and December.
“Everyone is trying to figure out the best way to move in order to move forward and do things differently,” said Proenza Schuler’s Lazaro Hernandez of the move to Paris. “It was an experiment,” he clarifies. But Hernandez is a returnee: This time he and his partner Jack McCollough showed the spring collection again in New York, right across from Wall Street. It couldn’t be more American.
Another New York icon who stays true to the city is Kate Spade. The US brand pays homage to the label’s namesake, who died a few months ago, from its show. Spade, who sold her company long ago, took her own life. Also the German luxury label Escada is in New York for the first time on the company’s 40th anniversary.
The new creative director Niall Sloan presented his vision for the fashion house in the popular Park Avenue Armory location. “The heyday of Escada was in the 80s and 90s,” writes “Vogue”. So the decade that inspires today’s fashion. “So if there was ever a time when the house could regain its relevance, it is now.”
If you rate the shows according to the celebrity density, New York could still score – even beyond the grand seigneur of US fashion Ralph Lauren. Singer Justin Bieber and basketball player LeBron James were also in the audience at other shows.