Fashion Week continues to strut through New York City


This image was accessed via Google Images under the Creative Commons License

Jason Wu (third from left) was one of the few designers to host an in-person fashion show this year.

The COVID-19 pandemic has fractured the fashion industry and the fashion show system. The luxury of pre-show drinks, contemporary music, supermodels galore and the sound of a cheering crowd was all taken away from designers, guests, and models this year. These misfortunes make the New York Fashion Week different from ever before. New York Fashion Week is a semi-annual series of events when international fashion collections are shown to buyers, the press, and the general public.

Most designers did not put on shows this season; instead, they recorded their shows or created online lookbooks that their guests could view live from their homes. These were called digital activations. 

Brandon Maxwell, a smaller designer, struggled immensely with the factors of the pandemic this year. But, his sophisticated line had an emphasis on athleisure, which drew lots of positive attention to him, as he created the line because his clients were looking for comfort while still wanting to look dressed during isolation. 

If a designer decided to host a live fashion show, which was a bold decision, the designers had to make sacrifices for safety and still make their show memorable. A fashion show during a pandemic would draw attention to the designer, showing the media that the designer still values their clients and would take a great risk for the fashion industry. 

Some of the guidelines put in place by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo regarding hosting a fashion show were strict, but understandable, considering the risk. Shows had to be outdoors, and the spectator limit was capped at 50. Those 50 people usually consisted of the designer’s friends, industry figures and fashion editors to make sure the work of the designer was published on all types of media. If the show was hosted indoors, no spectators were allowed. 

One of those bold designers was Jason Wu. Wu hosted his spring show on the rooftop terrace of Spring Studios in Tribeca. It was themed around Tulum, Mexico, which is Wu´s favorite vacation spot. He had around 30 attendees at the show because he wanted it to seem very exclusive and private. 

In a New York Times article, Wu speaks on his decision of moving forward with creating a show: ¨The pandemic is still very much a reality. But I think, as companies and creators, we kind of have to just hunker down and make a decision. Like, are we going to keep creating, or not?¨

New York Fashion Week is such an iconic and vital week for people such as reporters or celebrities interested in the fashion industry. So, as some designers decided not to take the risk of putting on a show, others were bold enough to, and in return, they exceeded everyone’s expectations. Spring 2021 fashion week was a difficult yet rewarding week for so many people in the fashion industry that will be remembered for years to come.