alexander wang is leaving new york fashion week

The designer's fall/winter 18 show will be his final blowout on the NYFW schedule.

by Hannah Ongley
17 January 2018, 4:23pm

Alexander Wang is perhaps the buzziest show on the New York Fashion Week calendar — invite schminvite. Last season’s blowout involved Cardi B, inflatables, and a literal busload of models ferried from Soho to Bushwick, where #WANGSQUAD wannabes had been lining up since noon to get a glimpse (or an Instagram) of the scene. As of next season, NYFW will involve less hype and fewer headaches, unless another designer is brave enough to take up Wang’s monochromatic, club-ready mantle. Alexander Wang is ditching the official NYFW calendar, making this season’s fall/winter 18 show his last big rager on the schedule. The brand will present subsequent new collections in June and December, according to WWD.

CFDA president Steven Kolb hinted at a wider industry move towards a summer/winter schedule. “The idea is, could there be a core group of brands that sat well together and combined their interests to do something during pre-collections?” Kolb said to WWD. “What does that mean? June or July or December or January? I’m not certain.” He added that the concept was still “hypothetical,” but could potentially take shape as early as June/July this year. “I could see a collective of maybe five or so brands that have the right adjacency and might align to it,” he said, declining to name other designers who might be down to join the new schedule.

Wang, for his part, hasn't yet settled on a specific approach to product drops. “Our shows will reinforce our brand’s DNA to our global customers and fans while we continue to be focused in our product offering,” he promised. “This new cadence will allow us to speak to our global customer in different conversations that are not limited to just fashion week twice a year,”

NYFW has seen an exodus of top American designers in recent seasons. Altuzarra, Rodarte, and Proenza Schouler all showed in Paris last season, as did Thom Browne. Public School also recently dropped out of NYFW in favor of a direct-to-consumer approach, while Tommy Hilfiger and Victoria Beckham will show this season in Milan and London, respectively. But could the Wang shakeup end up drawing a few of those brands back?

A calendar seachange would have historical precedent. As WWD notes, in 1998, Helmut Lang moved its New York show forward to precede the European collections (at the time, NYFW was held in November.) Calvin Klein soon followed, much to the dismay of the old guard, with Saint Laurent co-founder Pierre Bergé accusing Lang of "inciting anarchy." That was exactly 20 years ago — are we due for another switcheroo? In the meantime, there’s Wang’s fall/winter 18 finale to get in line for.

Alexander Wang
fall/winter 18