Turbulent Fashion Week in New York (USA)

Turbulent Fashion Week in New York (USA)

By Virginia F. Bodmer-Altura

The New York Fashion Week (autumn season 2012) starting February 9, 2012 is always a very promising event not only for fashion designers but also for fashion lovers. There is also a great competition between the different shows taking also place in all of Manhattan and not only at the fair at Lincoln Center itself and some of them are overlapping others time wise and also in regard to chosen location of presentation making careful selecting necessary, but total coverage needs additional staff

There will be more than 200 fashion shows and presentation of lines in the nine days the Fashion Week is on. A special focus is on Chinese consumers being tremendous fashion buyers and increasingly also of American brands, whereas Americans turn more to Japanese urban styles.

There is not only a focus of being physically present at the shows but also digital technologies and social media are gaining attention, especially because Fashion Week will travel after New York to London, Milan and Paris and will end only in March. Fashion Weeks were created for store buyers and magazine editors to buy fashion for the next season. This is still done but “normal” consumers have now the possibility to be electronically also present.

According to in-house information, there will be also newcomers to New York never participating in a runway show before, one, Levi’s will present for the first time its Theia line of dresses and gowns on the catwalk. Designer Prabal Gurung will present his new label ICB by Prabal Gurung and as an online-only digital show on February 15th.

Next Sunday, February 12th Diane von Furstenberg will show her new line in a tent organised by IMG’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the Lincoln Center. In general designers moved away from Bryant Park and make use of the areas of the Lincoln Center, including the garage, hallways and building lobbies, a fact that proves that competition makes it necessary to be as close as possible in order to attract people. Those who present their design lines elsewhere make a particular effort to attract visitors.

50 New Yorker taxis are outfitted with technology allowing passengers to purchase luxury beauty products by swiping their smart phones over special tags inside the cabs. These “mobile taxi shops” were launched by Glamour magazine for Fashion Wee and were a sort of inspired by the virtual stores the supermarket chain Tesco launched in the Seoul (Korea) subway system where riders can apply their smart phone cameras to scan the codes of the items displayed on station walls, then pay and have the purchases delivered. The chosen 50 cabs will however be stationed around Fashion Week and therefore remain unnoticed by common New Yorkers!

Fashion Week will also be the place where model Sara Ziff (29) will found the first union movement for models under the name of “Model Alliance” in order to fight for better and healthier working conditions for models. Sara Ziff is working as model since she was 14 years old and on the catwalk for Prada, Calvin Klein, Chanel and posing for Tommy Hilfiger, Kenneth Cole and Stella Mc Cartney. Therefore she is an insider and holds also a degree in political science from Columbia University. The new union organisation wants inexpensive health insurance, support against greedy model agencies and their ruinous financial acting against models or the attitude to force models to work free of charge for top designers or to be paid only with clothes. Remember, not all models have an average income of USD 50 million a year like Gisèle Bündchen but make only USD 27000 yearly. Ziff has shocked with her documentary film “Picture me” in 2009 showing the not so fantastic sides of the modelling business. The film was at that time bestowed with the public prize at the film festival of Milan (Italy). Bear in mind that according the latest survey more than 50 % of all models are only 13 to 16 years old and almost 40 % are between 17 and 20 and beginning at 21, the model is forced to reflect already about retiring!


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