Even though time no longer exists, it’s somehow already September. While you may not be ready for the season of oversized knits, knee-high boots, and pumpkin spice everything, it’s here so you might as well embrace it. September also brings Fashion Month, that time of year when industry leaders and tastemakers travel from New York City to London to Milan to Paris within the span of a few weeks — all in the name of scoping out the latest and greatest runway looks. But is Fashion Week still happening in the wake of coronavirus? It looks like the answer is a cautious-but-optimistic yes.
Fashion Weeks in New York, London, Milan, and Paris are scheduled to go on as planned. In the middle of a global pandemic, what does Fashion Week even look like? Organizers have to completely rethink how to produce the biannual event, which — in non-pandemic times — attracts thousands of people from across the world.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the global fashion industry and hit New York particularly hard,” Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA, said in a statement. “Fashion Week is a critical time when brands are able to connect with press, retailers, and consumers, and I’m proud of how quickly the CFDA pivoted to support the needs of the industry by creating RUNWAY360. In the face of unprecedented challenges and uncertainty within our industry, the American fashion community has once again come together to support each other and prove its resilience.”
Considering the fluid nature of the situation, pretty much anything can happen at this point. Ahead, find a recap of everything to know so far about New York Fashion Week 2020. And continue to check back in as this story will be updated regularly with any important news and schedule changes.
Is NYFW cancelled?
No, it will still take place but it’s not clear yet which designers will be hosting in-person events versus virtual shows. There’s likely to be a heavy focus on digital and streaming content given the complex logistics involved in producing a traditional runway show.
Lowe's, for instance, will bring NYFW home with décor “edits” curated by Jason Wu, Rebecca Minkoff, and Christian Siriano. Set to be revealed on September 8, items handpicked by each designer will serve as the backdrop to their runway shows, and will be shoppable online.
Is Fashion Week cancelled overseas?
Fashion Week in London, Milan, and Paris is currently scheduled to go on as planned. London Fashion Week is from September 18 to September 22 and will include digital and physical shows. Milan Fashion Week is happening as well, from September 23 to September 28, with the majority of brands including Fendi and Prada, opting for in-person shows. Paris Fashion Week, scheduled from September 29 to October 6, will proceed with business as usual. Fashion houses like Chanel and Dior are planning live shows.
When is NYFW?
This year, all shows and presentations are scheduled between Sunday, September 13 and Wednesday, September 16.
What did Governor Andrew Cuomo say about NYFW?
In August, Gov. Cuomo announced that NYFW could go on as planned, but organizers must follow strict safety protocols and guidelines.
“New York City is the fashion capital of the world and New York Fashion Week celebrates the ingenuity of this city, and our unmatched creative talent,” Gov. Cuomo said in a press release. “When COVID-19 hit New York, so many of our cherished events were forced to cancel or be postponed. The pandemic is far from over, but we’re proud to support event organizer IMG in moving forward with NYFW, in adherence with strict state public health guidance.”
In a statement, Leslie Russo, executive vice president of IMG’s Fashion Events Group, applauded the governor for his leadership. “We are grateful to Governor Cuomo and his leadership for their swift, successful response in fighting the spread of the coronavirus, which has now set the standard of excellence for our nation,” she said.
What safety measures will be in place?
Outdoor events will be capped at 50 people. Indoor events will be capped at 50 percent capacity, and no spectators will be allowed (in other words: models, designers, and other essential personnel only).
Attendees must also comply with proper social distancing at all times, and all personnel, vendors, designers, models, and guests have to follow the provisions of the state’s travel advisory. That means diagnostic testing and health screening procedures, including temperature checks prior to admittance, face covering requirements, and limiting the in-person workforce to just essential personnel.
Which designers are showing?
The official NYFW schedule kicks off September 13, with Jason Wu and Harlem’s Fashion Row’s virtual fashion experience, and concludes with Tom Ford on September 16.
Returning designers and brands include Alabama Chanin, Alice + Olivia, Anna Sui, Badgley Mischka, Bibhu Mohapatra, Carolina Herrera, Chromat, Claudia Li, Dennis Basso, Eckhaus Latta, Jonathan Simkhai, LaQuan Smith, Marchesa and Marchesa Notte, Naeem Khan, Nicole Miller, Veronica Beard, and Zero + Maria Cornejo.
Fifteen names are new to the schedule: Aknvas, Anne Klein, Colleen Allen, Dur Doux, Duncan, Frederick Anderson, Frère, Imitation of Christ, Oak & Acorn, Theophilio, Venicew, Wiederhoeft, and Wolk Morais.
You can find schedule details on the CFDA website.