Fashion week is a fashion industry event that occurs twice a year in four of the major fashion capitals: New York, London, Milan and Paris.
Models take large strides down the runway as a line of reporters, commentators, merchandisers, celebrities and photographers eagerly examine what each one is wearing. The outfit may be undoubtedly unconventional but spectacular. In the couple of months following the show, the “it-design” elements will find their way into Nordstrom, Macy’s, H&M and Forever 21.
The fashions showcased are at least one season in advance to allow the fashion industry time to incorporate the next season’s fashion into their line.
February and March shows showcase fall and winter lines and September and October shows showcase spring and summer seasons.
Celebrities including pop singer Rihanna and model and TV personality Kendall Jenner walked in the recent New York show.
Jade Dalton, freshman psychology and criminal justice double major, said she follows fashion week regularly and prefers New York’s fashion week because many of the quintessential American designers such as Calvin Klein show there.
“I love New York fashion week,” Dalton said. “My favorites are Calvin Klein, Jonathan Simkhai and Thakoon. I love them all because they blend masculine and feminine styles such as blazers and long button down shirts with feminine styles, prints and colors.”
While fashion week can be viewed by some as frivolous, Dalton said it is an event that is more empowering for women.
“It is always nice to see what is currently being designed to get ideas for your own style,” Dalton said. “Everyone has their own personal style but it can always be influenced for the better. You can get brave and try new looks.”
In contrast, Mona Figueroa, sophomore liberal studies major, said she does not follow fashion week at all, nor does she see it as empowering.
“It could be positive and encouraging to women to live out their style,” Figueroa said in response. “But I also feel it can be demeaning to women because they feel they don’t fit the style and beauty standards of the fashion world.”
Fashion week’s impact on the retail industry and the careers of up-and-coming designers can be seen through its history.
Two of Dalton’s favorite designers have seen huge success from their first runway shows, having earned spots in the New York fashion week so quickly in their careers.
Designer Thakoon Panichgul launched his line in 2004 after receiving a business degree from Boston University and a degree in design from Parsons School of Design. Thankoon also wrote for Harper’s Bazaar for four years and won the Vogue Fashion Fund award in 2006.
Designer Jonathan Simkhai showed his first collection in 2015, winning the Vogue Fashion Fund award in November 2015.