It is confirmed, the January deadline has been and gone and 'New York Fashion Week: Men's' has officially secured sponsorship from Amazon and its fashion sites – Amazon Fashion, East Dane and MyHabit, with additional support from DreamWorks. Giving the go-ahead for the first event this July 13 – 16, to be held at Skylight Clarkson Sq in SoHo.
"Men's is a meaningful part of our business," said Cathy Beaudoin, president of Amazon Fashion, on the decision to get on board with the 'New York Fashion Week: Men's'. "It's as large as our women's business. Fashion is the fastest growing business at Amazon and men's has grown over 80 percent a year for the last five years. It's a booming business for us, so we're very committed to the category, and this partnership felt right."
As reported by Buro 24/7 at the end of last year, the timing of the shows has been carefully determined by the New York trade shows such as Project, Liberty, MRket and Capsule. Crucially this is when menswear collections are bought up so the CFDA felt it was essential to synchronise the 'New York Fashion Week: Men's' accordingly, to achieve maximum impact.
"American men's wear has never been stronger or more creative,"
"American menswear has never been stronger or more creative," said Steven Kolb, chief executive officer of the CFDA, "There are many reasons the CFDA is launching New York Fashion Week: Men's. It gives the designers a business platform to show during their market dates and is an opportunity to demonstrate the collective talent of an important segment of our industry. The effort to create stand-alone men's shows is not just backed by CFDA and participating designers, but also by the American editors and retailers who have contributed as we have built this, and they will continue to be involved in our planning."
CFDA board member, and all-American veteran designer, Tommy Hilfiger, is confirmed to be taking part in the inaugural event, although the specifics of his involvement are yet to be defined. Hilfiger has long been a champion of a menswear fashion week for the American fashion capital of New York. Other designers who have committed to participate include Calvin Klein Collection, Michael Kors, Rag & Bone, Public School, Billy Reid, Todd Snyder, Michael Bastian, Ovadia & Sons, Robert Geller, Duckie Brown, Patrik Ervell, Timo Weiland and Kent & Curwen. Although not all of these will hold runway shows, the exact piecing together of each brand's input is still a work in progress.
It is notable that one of the key American menswear designers, Ralph Lauren, has chosen not to participate in the event. Ralph Lauren has taken to showing his collection at his New York City showroom off calendar. Kolb knows that it may take some time before every big name opts to join the roster, citing the success of 'London Collections: Men', which has managed to whisk up huge names such as Burberry and Alexander McQueen along its journey to success since 2012: "What the British Fashion Council has done is impressive," he said. "There's a lot we can learn from them."
"We know we have to build it from the ground up. But we're going to do a good job..."
"We're not naïve enough to think that we're going to create a huge, international mega men's fashion week immediately. We know we have to build it from the ground up. But we're going to do a good job, and we know we'll be able to compete on a more global basis in the future," added Kolb, of the work ahead, demonstrating big ambition for the menswear initiative. It is exciting times for American menswear designers, though some would say its about time. Stay tuned to Buro 24/7 for the scoop on all of the 'New York Fashion Week: Men's' news...