Rachel and The City: Fashion Week—A Statement of the Past?

During my routine Instagram scrolling this morning, I stumbled upon one of DVF’s uploads—a sneak peek of her Fashion Week invitation. Caption: “Fashion show 10 days away! Tension building! Love Diane.” And with Collegiettes still recovering from studying abroad, internships, recruitment, or the exhaustion of summer classes, you’re not alone Diane—Fashion Week has crept up on all of us. Though we may not have to prep as much as you and your team, we do have to try and forget about the dreadful Tallahassee heat and pump ourselves up for spring 2015 (no matter how much we’re yearning to get our hands on the fall/winter collections).

With New York Fashion Week, NYFW, beginning this Thursday, we find ourselves with yet another year of glamorous expectations—designers, big and small, coming together in some of the most cultured cities in the world. In February we look toward the fall/winter collections and September the spring collections—I like to call it the holiday for sartorialists. However, with up-and-coming designers falling below quicker than you can say runway, the dream of models carrying their designs across the world’s biggest stages seems to be losing its appeal.

On August 28th, WWD reported that after eight straight years of participating in Paris Fashion Week, model-turned-designer Vanessa Bruno plans to sit this year out. Repositioning her communications strategy, Bruno decided this was best for her team—and honestly, it may just be. Nonetheless, does this mean we have to worry about other major designers eventually following in her footsteps?

Regarding the perks of up-and-coming designers not participating in Fashion Week, Fashionista makes a few solid points: the importance of marketing and buying appointments exceeds the significance of the show (agreed to an extent), not participating in the show leaves designers with more money for store orders, editors can connect with them at a less overwhelming date and they can strictly focus on their customers.

Despite the points made by Fashionista, let’s be honest—we all know that Fashion Week has more pros than cons. It’s an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to showcase designs and future trends to the industry’s elite. Proving this, we’ll even see designers from the hit television show Project Runway take the stage at NYFW. According to the Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week site, the show’s season 11 “eager designers” will participate in the series’ first ever “Teams Edition,” leading us to yet another thought—what happened to Fashion Week’s exclusivity?

Whether you obsess over the fashion world or simply admire it from a glass window, Fashion Week cultivates seasonal wardrobes across the globe. I could never imagine iconic designers such as DVF, Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs or Carolina Herrera ever straying away from Fashion Week, but with our ever-changing society anything is possible. What do you Collegiettes think? Are the independent, smaller designers overall better off deviating from the catwalk? Is Fashion Week becoming a statement of the past? Does non-exclusivity take away from significance?