Ken Downing, the fashion director and svp at Neiman Marcus, will see just under 100 fashion shows this season.
It used to be about 120 overall — and at one point, it was that many shows in New York alone. Things are changing.
“Fashion is in a transformative state. The industry has a real challenge ahead of it when it comes to how we address fashion weeks and present collections,” said Downing.
As designers change the ways they show their collections — be it on the runway, in private appointments at showrooms or at presentations — the buyer’s job is ultimately unchanged, according to Downing.
“Do you need a big fashion show to buy a great collection? You don’t. It can be exciting if there’s drama or creativity, or a great moment, but you really don’t.”
Downing said there are ups and downs to every format. Presentations allow for direct engagement with the designer, while runways can leave the viewers full of inspiration when done properly. On an episode of the Glossy Podcast’s NYFW series, Downing reflected on the future of the fashion show and how the CFDA’s role is shaping the path forward for the industry.