NEW YORK — Going from the leisurely pace of August straight into the throes of New York Fashion Week can feel a little like whiplash. And then when it all starts, there are so many things happening, often all at the same time, on different sides of the city, it is impossible to do everything.
On Thursday night, New York mayor Eric Adams officially kicked things off with a CFDA cocktail at Gracie Mansion, declaring that “Fashion is New York, and New York is fashion.” Both he and CFDA chairman Thom Browne spoke of the pressure required to create diamonds — and other beautiful things, like fashion collections.
There is truth in the idea that sometimes incredible bursts of creativity can come in the final few days before a big show, which acts as a forcing mechanism to focus the mind and get shit done. But we are not the same after Covid-19. Some of us are tired of all the pressure and expectations that come from working in such a fast-paced industry.
That’s why BoF hosted a (truly) intimate dinner on Wednesday evening with Google — before NYFW officially started — to bring together our American fashion family in a more relaxed atmosphere to ease into things a little. It was especially wonderful to have so many designers join us even though they were in the thick of preparing for their shows and presentations.
Tory Burch, Jason Wu, Prabal Gurung, Phillip Lim, Wes Gordon, Sergio Hudson, Carly Mark from Puppets and Puppets and many more designers turned out for our family-style dinner. Being in that room, with all of those creative and talented people, served as a wonderful reminder of why we do what we do. And the fact that they all took time to attend is a sign that people are changing their priorities.
Joseph Altuzarra, who was preparing for his show, also popped over from his studio to say hello. I shared with him that I often feel my anxiety rising just by being at NYFW, and that is why I have largely stayed away even after the lockdowns ended. That opened up an opportunity for Joseph to share his own struggle with anxiety. I’m not sure this conversation would have happened pre-Covid.
I made a commitment to myself during the pandemic to plan my work travel with more intention and purpose, and not the fear of missing out, or feeling like I have to be everything, everywhere, all at once. That’s why this fashion month, I plan to take care of my physical and mental health so I can do my best work. No pressure required.
Wishing you all a good weekend — and a healthy, happy fashion month.
Imran Amed, Founder, CEO and Editor-in-Chief, The Business of Fashion
P.S. This week, BoF Insights and Quilt.AI released The BoF Brand Magic Index to examine if customers see a brand the same way a brand sees itself. The Index quantifies and ranks 50 global luxury and fashion labels using AI-driven analysis of tens of thousands of social media posts by brands and their customers.
Here Are More Top Picks From Our Analysis of Fashion, Luxury and Beauty:
1. Pinault Buys Majority Stake in Talent Agency CAA. Pinault family holding Artémis is acquiring private equity firm TPG’s stake in the Hollywood talent giant in a deal that values the business at $7 billion.
2. Coach’s 10-Year Quest to Be More Than a Handbag Brand. Creative director Stuart Vevers, who is celebrating a decade with the brand, brought apparel to Coach and has quietly built it into a nearly $740 million-a-year business.
3. Can Peter Do Restore Helmut Lang to Its Former Glory? ‘More than ever we need non-fussy clothing,’ the designer told BoF in a preview of his debut collection for Helmut Lang — the once-groundbreaking label’s first outing in four years.
4. Fforme: A Quiet Luxury Label Making Noise in New York. ‘I think New York is hungry for the level of quality we offer,’ says designer Paul Helbers ahead of Fforme’s runway debut on Sunday.
5. At Helmut Lang and Coach, a Debut and a Decade Later. On the first two days of New York Fashion Week, designers Peter Do and Stuart Vevers showcased their takes on storied brands.
The BoF Podcast
Within a decade, Colm Dillane, the New York-based founder and designer of streetwear sensation KidSuper, went from selling T-shirts to fellow students out of his New York University dorm room to winning the the Karl Lagerfeld Special Jury Prize at the LVMH Prize in 2021 and designing a one-off menswear collection for Louis Vuitton.
But it wasn’t a straight shot to success. The now 32-year-old has had to learn the ropes of fashion the hard way, maxing out his bank account, taking risk after risk to figure out how to transform his creativity into a bonafide business.
This week on The BoF Podcast, I sit down with Dillane to discuss his journey as a designer and his lessons for emerging fashion designers and entrepreneurs.
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