New York Fashion Week adapts to changing market conditions

While many designers will be showing 2017 Spring/Summer collections that will not be in stores for months, others will try a different format by showing in-season fashions.

Some brands are opting for the “see now, buy now” model with the designs on the runway, or capsule collections, immediately available to customers. Appointment-only presentations are another option, as are online shows and combining men’s and women’s fashions into one presentation.

The changes are in line with the results of a study released in March by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, which administers the fashion week schedule. After questioning 50 industry insiders about the future, the report found the overall consensus was “the time is ripe for change.”

Ken Downing, senior vice president and fashion director at luxury fashion retailer Neiman Marcus, supports the shakeup in the fashion week system. ”I am a huge proponent of people showing their collections in real time and within the season the clothes are going to be in the store,” he said.

Once the domain of fashion editors, buyers and well-heeled clients, fashion week now attracts more than 230,000 attendees and a huge online audience in real time.

Tom Ford Spring Summer 2017 at New York Fashion Week