New York Fashion Week has released its SS21 schedule

Tom Ford, Eckhaus Latta and VeniceW will all be participating in this season’s digital fashion week, though some of the city’s best-loved names are conspicuously absent.

by Mahoro Seward
28 August 2020, 10:55am

Telfaw AW18. Photography Mitchell Sams

Fashion weeks. Remember those? We hardly do, even though it’s only been six months since we were last jostling to get to seats we could hardly see the clothes from, and schlepping to impossibly-located, off-schedule venues for a ten-minute show and an hour's bus ride home. Ah, the glamour.

In their wake, we saw all the major fashion councils create virtual hosting platforms for what would otherwise have been the men’s shows back in June. Earlier this month, Copenhagen earned a much-envied title as the first major fashion week to host physical events, though anyone hoping that was an omen for the return of IRL shows across the board will have to hold out a little longer, it would seem.

In just over a fortnight’s time, New York Fashion Week will commence, though not as we once knew it. According to Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA -- America’s BFC, basically -- shows will be “presented in a range of formats on RUNWAY360”, a digital platform which will “be an ongoing business tool for brands to use, complimenting in-person events and shows in the future.”

The schedule offers up a host of familiar names, like Tom Ford and Eckhaus Latta, not to mention exciting up-and-comers like VeniceW, Kozaburo and Collina Strada. Still, some of the city’s most celebrated labels are conspicuous in their absence, as Vanessa Friedman, Fashion Director of The New York Times observed in a recent tweet. “Not on it: Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Pyer Moss, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, Proenza Schouler, Telfar, Brandon Maxwell, The Row, Vaquera, Christopher John Rogers, Batsheva, Prabal Gurung…” it read.

There are many grounds on which to speculate why the brands mentioned might have chosen not to show on-schedule this season. For some, the pandemic’s effects on supply chains around the world makes creating a collection to a presentable standard almost impossible. For others, its upending of the industry’s operational mechanisms — many of which have long been deemed broken — has made designers realise that strict seasonal presentations just aren’t right for their brands.

Time will tell just how their absence will affect NYFW’s long term future, but for now, the show must go on. View the full schedule here.