Fashion month is changing, and its evolution has been accelerated in the last two years. So, as this season’s New York Fashion Week wrapped, Glossy brought together three industry insiders to discuss the state and future of the event.
Danielle Williams Eke, design director at designer plus-size fashion etailer 11 Honoré; Grace Rowe, senior director of production at NYFW producer IMG Focus; and Taylor Tomasi Hill, creative and fashion director at fashion marketplace The Yes; shared their thoughts on what changes they’d noticed during the fall 2022 shows and whether the pandemic will have long-term effects on fashion week. The Glossy+ member-exclusive event wrapped with the panelists offering their hopes for NYFW’s future. See below for their final comments, which centered on increased sustainability, diversity and inclusion. The full video of the event can be viewed below.
Tomasi Hill: I’m definitely an optimist, but I also recognize that, while we are a fast-paced industry, we are also a slow-to-change industry… There’s a lot of low-hanging fruit that we haven’t tackled, such as locations during fashion week. We all talk about brands transitioning to be more sustainable, but at the end of the day, we also all know that that’s actually extremely expensive and time-consuming, and it’s a very slow process. For example, we’re at Spring Studios, and we used to all go to Milk, where you can see many shows or presentations at once. But the fact that we are still all traipsing across the bridge to Brooklyn just for one show – that is not sustainable. And it’s something that we can absolutely do better. Why are we not figuring out: Where do people want to show? And then making a day out of Brooklyn or making a day out of the Lower East Side? It can still be inspiring. Make it walkable! New York is a walkable city. The thing that we could actually do to make the week truly more sustainable is very doable. And the movements of sustainability and inclusivity are definitely going to grow.
Rowe: Sustainability is a big passion of mine, and I led our sustainability efforts for Australia Fashion Week. That’s something that I’m really trying to help develop and push here in New York. In New York, we need to come together around choosing locations. From a production perspective, creatives all have a very unique creative vision, and they want to stand out from the rest. That’s hugely what our job is: to try and create a unique experience. But I love the idea of a Brooklyn day and trying to centralize in a wider area, as opposed to centralizing on just one specific venue. We have a great specific location, or hub, in Spring Studios, and that serves its purpose for so many designers – they all use it in unique ways. But I love the idea of choosing an area. Sustainability, in general, is the way of the future for everything we do.
Also, [in terms of] collections, designers are always wanting to adapt and innovate and improve their production processes. Sustainability around that is definitely going to change. [The same for] diversity – not only what it looks like on the runway and behind the scenes, but also in terms of the collections. It’s a huge lift for designers when they’re creating their samples to bring in other sizes. That’s something that’s got to change; that process has got to become easier because it’s the only way forward. We have to be more diverse about that approach.
Williams Eke: We definitely want to participate [in NYFW] in some meaningful way, to different degrees – whether it be [by hosting] a full runway show or a smaller runway show with a dinner, an event, whatever that may be. Showing up for this community during this time – during fashion week – is really important. We are representing a larger community, and we take that to heart. Along with that, my hope – and we’ve seen it – is that the runway becomes more inclusive, size-inclusive. Christian Siriano, for example, has done a great job of including different shapes, sizes, ethnicities, gender – whatever that may be – into his shows, and I’m excited to see that continue.
Lastly, [my hope is for more] diversity: The more we can tailor events to amplify the voices of Black and brown designers within the industry, the more we can come together as a collective, That should be our goal, at the end of the day. All of our consumers are all the same. There’s not just one consumer; we’re all consuming these goods. So how do we make sure that we’re speaking to all of these men and women out there that are shopping for these clothes?
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