Gentleman rejoice: New York men's fashion week becomes a reality

Monday, 09 February 2015
After years of wishful thinking, negotiations, and a decision from those who reign supreme in American fashion, or as they are otherwise known, the Council of Fashion Designers of America or CFDA for short, have decided that there will finally be a men’s fashion week. The first official men’s fashion week will be  held in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City, a neighborhood known for bolstering many high fashion boutiques, including Ralph Lauren, Prada, and Emporio Armani.

Men’s Fashion Week will take place from July 13th to the 16th at Skylight Clarkson Square and will be sponsored by Amazon Fashion, East Dane, and MyHabit, which are all Amazon fashion sites. While the event is not actually an entire week the way New York Fashion Week actually is, it is the first time that menswear will get their own time slot in the American fashion calendar, as the fashion industry is realizing what a growing market menswear is. It’s true, men are becoming far more concerned with their fashion choices.

The dates for men’s fashion week will coincide with Project Trade Show, one of the largest menswear tradeshows in America, and will also coincide with men’s market week, so, the timing couldn’t be better. New York Men’s Fashion week will follow every other men’s fashion week perfectly on schedule, with London being from June 12th to the 15th, Milan being from June 20th to the 23rd, and Paris being from June 24th to the 28th.

A number of designers have agreed to participate, but it still has not yet been decided who will stage runway shows, and who will decide to participate in other ways. Calvin Klein and Thom Browne, who normally show in Milan, believe that it is still best they stick to their European markets, but intend to participate somehow. The godfather of American designers, Ralph Lauren, is still unsure of how he will participate in men’s fashion week as well.

Despite those designers who are on the fence about how they will participate in men’s fashion week, a number of other designers and brands have already agreed to participate, including, but not limited to Public School, Michael Kors, Rag & Bone, Todd Snyder, Billy Reid, Michael Bastian, and Robert Geller. The schedule has not been set for New York Men’s Fashion Week, so the public will have to wait before they can start making their schedule of shows to watch, camp out for, and maybe even luckily attend.

For a lot of menswear designers New York Men’s Fashion Week will bring a breath of reprieve, as they will no longer be forced to try and cram their shows into women’s wear week. The men’s wear trade shows will have to make an adjustment for New York Men’s Fashion Week, however, with Project Trade Show moving their dates forward to July 13th to the 15th, the other trade shows, Liberty Fairs and Capsule, are also in talks to adjust their date to accommodate Men’s Fashion Week. June and July are looking to be major months for the menswear market this year, with more designers trying to garner attention for their menswear in an attempt to capitalize on what a huge market it has become.

While the news of the creation of New York Men’s Fashion Week has been met with criticism of trying to copy Europe, but CFDA CEO, Steven Kolb has made it clear that this is not about trying to imitate Europe, and was quoted in Women’s Wear Daily saying, “There are many reasons the CFDA is launching New York Fashion Week: Men’s. It gives the designers a business platform to show during their market dates and is an opportunity to demonstrate the collective talent of an important segment of our industry.”

Vanessa Friedman, Chief Fashion Critic at The New York Times, has criticized the new insert into the fashion week calendar as being “more of the same” attempting to replicate the success of London Collections: Men, as well as being a potential burden on international editors and buyers who would have to take an extra trip outside of Europe for men’s collections this year. However, Kolb is not expecting the first year for Men’s Fashion Week to draw the massive crowds of Paris or Milan, however. He doesn’t expect to attract a lot of European editors and buyers, but, rather intends for this year to be the year that they start to lay the foundation for an event that will celebrate the growing and beloved market for menswear. So, mark your calendars fashion lovers, July will be here sooner than you think.

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