The History of Fashion Week in NYC

Art Scene

The History of Fashion Week in NYC

New York holds Fashion Week twice a year and it is popular for models, designers and avid fashion shoppers all over the world. The history of Fashion Week in New York is very extensive. It dates back to the middle of World War II and still continues today.

The first Fashion Week ever held in New York was in 1943, right in the middle of World War II. Hosting the event in New York was to serve as a distraction from the war. Being that Paris, France was directly affected by the fighting, hosting fashion week there was out of the question.

Eleanor Lambert organized the event and was a popular fashion publicist at the time. The event was called Press Week and acted as a chance for American designers to show off their talents.

These American designers were able to show journalists what they had created. At first this event was not about finding buyers for the garments. It was more to show off the new designs that have been produced. Even though print advertising showcased more French design, many companies found out about New York’s prominent designers at Press Week.

Eventually New York was added as one of the permanent host cities for fashion week. In 1994 fashion week was held in Bryant Park New York, the park was riddled with white tents for a total length of almost one city block.

Fashion week is an invite only event that is reserved for people in the fashion industry. This also includes the press, online fashion press, and celebrities.  In 2009 fashion week was revolutionized by the use of technology. This proved to be a great way to cut down on costs because they were able to show their designs over the Internet rather than having to travel to the locations.  It also opened up the audience to include many more people.

Also in 2009 to help with cutting down on costs some of the top designers started using mannequins to show their designs rather than hiring models and making a catwalk. This helped to cut down on 40 percent of the 750,000 dollars that was expected to be spent that year.

Fashion week is now sponsored by Mercedes-Benz and is held in the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Lincoln Center is a larger venue than before and shows our countries growth after the economic downturn.

The Spring/Summer Fashion Week will begin September 8th and end September 15th.


Have you been to fashion week? Tell us about it!