Fashion Week happens several times per year in NYC, but how much NYFW history do you know? This exciting time of year is upon us, so let’s look back at how the iconic event began and has changed over time. Here’s a look back at NYFW history throughout the ages.
1940s-1980s: Early NYFW History
The first NYFW-type event took place in 1943. It was created by the press director of the New York Dress Institute, Eleanor Lambert. During this time, Parisian fashion was all the rage. American publications would highlight french designs, despite the fact that the styles were not available to the American consumers. Fashion week, known during this time as “Press Week” was created to showcase American designers for fashion journalists. Due to WWII, fashion insiders were unable to travel to Paris to view shows. Press Week also allowed them to view shows. By the mid-1950s, the event was known as “Press Week of New York”. Throughout the next 40 years, other countries began making their own fashion weeks and Press Week of New York was not held every year like it is today.
1990s: The Dawn of NYFW
In 1993, Fern Mallis, the executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) combined all the city’s events to be known as “New York Fashion Week.” It was branded as “7th on Sixth.” These shows took place in white tents in Bryant Park.
2000s: NYFW in the 21st Century
NYFW went through a multitude of changes during the 21st century. Every few years, the name, sponsors and location of the event would change. In 2001, “7th on Sixth” was sold to IMG. In 2004, Olympus become a sponsor and the event was renamed “Olympus Fashion Week.” In 2007, Mercedes-Benz became the top sponsor and called the event “MB Fashion Week New York.”
2010s: A Change of Scenery
In 2010, the venue changed from Bryant Park tents to the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. In 2013, IMG and its events (including fashion week) were sold to WME. In 2015, Mercedes-Benz announced its departure as title sponsor to the events. Following the loss of both Bryant Park and Lincoln Center as hosting sites for New York Fashion Week, the event is no longer held in one central location. Locations for shows have varied to places like railway terminals and waterfront carnivals. One was even held in an old post office!
Experience SS20 Before it Becomes NYFW History
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