New York Fashion Week (NYFW) is one of the biggest annual fashion events in the world. For over 75 years, NYFW has showcased incredible new collections from top American designers and brands.
NYFW first started in 1943 as “Press Week,” a showcase for fashion journalists and buyers to preview the new seasonal collections. Over the decades, it evolved into a major public event attended by celebrities, influencers, and fashion enthusiasts.
Today, NYFW spans multiple venues across New York City and features over 100 runway shows and presentations. It’s considered one of the “Big Four” fashion weeks, along with Paris, Milan, and London.
When and Where Does NYFW Take Place?
NYFW takes place twice a year, in February and September. The February shows preview the Autumn/Winter collections, while September showcases the Spring/Summer lines.
Most shows and events are concentrated around a central hub or “Fashion Week HQ.” Over the years, the main headquarters have been located at Bryant Park, Lincoln Center, and Spring Studios. Additional shows and parties take place at venues throughout New York.
In September 2022, the hub will be at Spring Studios in Tribeca. However, shows and presentations will happen across Manhattan.
Who Attends NYFW?
NYFW draws huge crowds of industry insiders, celebrities, bloggers, and fashion devotees.
- Editors and Buyers: Editors from major fashion magazines attend to spot trends and discover new talents. Retail buyers are there to purchase items for their stores.
- Celebrities and Influencers: There’s always an A-list presence at NYFW. Celebrities often sit in front row and some even walk the runway. Top fashion bloggers and influencers flock there to document the experience for their followers.
- General Public: More recently, NYFW has allowed limited public access to certain shows and events. It’s possible to purchase tickets to some runway shows and presentations each season.
Top Designers Showcasing at NYFW
NYFW features a mix of legendary designers and fresh new talents. Some of the biggest American brands presenting collections include:
- Calvin Klein: A mainstay of minimalist American sportswear. Calvin Klein is known for modern essentials and provocative advertising campaigns.
- Michael Kors: Luxury sportswear mixed with glamorous red carpet looks. Michael Kors is a NYFW veteran beloved by celebrities like Jennifer Lopez.
- Marc Jacobs: One of the biggest names in American fashion. Marc Jacobs’s shows are always buzzworthy events, often with celebrity models on the catwalk.
- Tom Ford: Sophisticated glamour with a bold sex appeal defines Tom Ford. His shows are among the most coveted tickets at NYFW.
- Coach: Heritage brand Coach has made a major fashion comeback under creative director Stuart Vevers. His NYFW shows feature cool model moments and celebrity appearances.
What Types of Shows Happen at NYFW?
There are a few different formats designers use to present their collections at NYFW:
- Runway Shows: These are live, staged events where models walk down a runway modeling the new collection. Runway shows are the most dramatic and lively presentations.
- Presentations: At presentations, models stand still sporting looks from the collection. Attendees can walk around and survey the new designs up close.
- Digital Shows: With the rise of technology, more brands are experimenting with digital shows streamed online or utilizing augmented reality.
- Off-Schedule Shows: Many designers opt to show independently outside the official NYFW schedule. These off-calendar shows offer more flexibility and often generate extra buzz.
5 Fun Facts About NYFW
NYFW is an incredible production full of glitz, glamour, and spectacle. Here are five fascinating facts about the event:
- The first-ever NYFW had only one major show: Norman Norell on February 16, 1943.
- Today over 230,000 people attend NYFW every year.
- Iconic supermodels like Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and Linda Evangelista started their careers on the NYFW catwalk.
- It costs around $200,000 to $300,000 to produce a moderately sized runway show.
- NYFW generates nearly $900 million in annual economic activity for New York City.
Why NYFW Matters
Above all the glamour and hype, NYFW serves some crucial purposes:
- It’s a business platform where designers preview their lines to buyers and begin taking orders for the season.
- Media coverage of NYFW shows influences global fashion trends and consumer purchasing decisions.
- New fashion talents can gain invaluable exposure and publicity through NYFW that helps launch their careers.
- For established designers, NYFW offers an opportunity to reinvent themselves and reignite interest from the industry and the public.
After over 75 years, NYFW remains a pillar of the global fashion scene. It’s a dream arena where designers display their creative visions, launch new trends, and shape the future of fashion.
Frequently Asked Questions About NYFW
What are the upcoming dates for NYFW?
The upcoming New York Fashion Week dates are February 10-16, 2023 for the Autumn/Winter 2023 shows and September 8-14, 2023 for the Spring/Summer 2024 shows.
Who decides which designers can participate in NYFW?
The CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) along with separate production companies help select which designers appear on the official NYFW schedule. However, brands can also host independent shows outside of the official calendar.
What U.S. cities host fashion weeks besides New York?
Other major U.S. fashion weeks include Los Angeles Fashion Week, Miami Swim Week, and Aspen Fashion Week. There are also many smaller regional fashion weeks across the country. However, New York Fashion Week remains the biggest and most prestigious American fashion week.
How do you get tickets to NYFW shows?
Tickets to NYFW shows are extremely limited. For most events, you need personal invitations or connections within the fashion industry. In recent years, some designers have offered limited ticket sales to the public, usually selling out extremely fast.
Is it legal to post photos from NYFW shows on social media?
Most shows prohibit unauthorized social media posts, especially live streaming and video. Always check the show’s policy. Some may allow limited personal photography as long as you don’t reveal the entire collection before the designer.