New York Fashion Week: Past to Present

Posted September 10, 2013 by Kristen J. Zavo in Building Your Brand

It’s almost over. This season’s New York Fashion Week has given us a glimpse into what will be in style this coming spring. The question remains – will you be brave enough to sport the bright orange lips, helmut hairlingerie-inspired dresses and crop tops that will be on trend?

Admittedly on the conservative side, I will probably stick to experimenting with the safer trends such as mixing and matching the top colors of the season (dazzling blue, sand, violet tulip) and styling my hair in a long-straight 70’s ‘do – or perhaps if I’m feeling really daring, I’ll try out Kate Spade’s messy top knot.

It might be hard to believe now, but New York City wasn’t always a fashion mecca. As noted in a Time article on the topic,

Prior to World War II, American fashion didn’t get much — if any — time in the spotlight. Instead, the world looked to the chic city of Paris for sartorial inspiration… This all changed in 1943. As France was fighting in World War II, fashion journalists were unable to get to Paris for their biannual style excursions. A prominent fashion publicist named Eleanor Lambert recognized that this was an opportunity to solidify America’s place among the international fashion community. Through her work at the New York Dress Institute, a group of clothing labor unions and manufacturers, Lambert pieced together a showcase of American designers for the national and regional media. She called the event Press Week.

Boy have times changed. Last week, 70 years after the first New York Fashion Week, history was made when fashion designer Eden Miller became the first to show a plus-size collection at the event.

On a not-so-positive note, with the internet making fashion so accessible, some are beginning to wonder if Fashion Week is losing its relevance, with some designers skipping the shows altogether.

Whether or not New York Fashion Week is headed towards extinction, it’s still interesting to look back at how it all started. Below, the evolution of Fashion Week – 1943 to present – compliments of Eventup.


The Evolution of New York Fashion Week

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About the Author

Kristen J. Zavo

Kristen J. Zavo is a product development, strategy and innovation professional, with a special interest in the retail industry. Having always been interested in the people side of business, Kristen loves to explore, reflect on, and share stories about the challenges and adventures of being a businesswoman. No topic is off limits - whether it's how to handle being the only woman in the boardroom, or figuring out how to to pack all the "essentials" for a 2-week business trip in just a carry-on! Outside of work, she loves exploring new places, spending time at the beach and meeting friends to workout (spin or yoga, anyone?!).