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A Season Like No Other

Between Tommy Hilfiger's shift to direct-to-consumer shows and Kanye West's music-infused fashion spectacle for Yeezy 3, it's clear that the tectonics of the fashion system are shifting.
Yeezy 'Season 3' Autumn/Winter 2016 | Source: Indigital.tv
By
  • Imran Amed

NEW YORK, United States — From the minute I landed in New York on Thursday, it was clear that this would be a fashion week season like no other.

En route from JFK to Madison Square Garden for Kanye West's Yeezy Season 3 concert-cum-fashion show, I received a call from the folks at Tommy Hilfiger, who explained that, as of September, the American megabrand will also be moving to a consumer-focused fashion show.

As I raced into MSG for Kanye's spectacle, I found thousands of fans also lining up to get in. Many of them had paid more than $50 a ticket for a first glimpse at the new Yeezy collection and a first listen to West's new album. Outside the main arena space, there were winding queues of fans waiting to buy merchandise — and maybe get their hands on a new pair of Yeezys, the sellout shoe line that West created in collaboration with Adidas.

From the concert, I rushed to the NoMad Hotel to hear Tommy Hilfiger's plans from the man himself. He explained that this is something the brand has been thinking about for at least a few years. Hilfiger seemed a bit disappointed that the company didn't get its announcement out before Burberry and Tom Ford revealed their own plans for direct-to-consumer shows, but was excited to welcome change to what he sees as a fashion system that no longer makes sense.

In the evening, at an intimate dinner hosted by T Magazine's Deborah Needleman, the dominant topic of discussion amongst fashion insiders — from Bergdorf Goodman's Linda Fargo to Fast Retailing's Siddhartha Shukla — was, of course, the shifting tectonics of an archaic fashion industry looking to realign itself with the digital communication cycle. While no clear answers were presented, the question of how these moves will ripple out into fashion media, retail and manufacturing are a great subject of debate.

On Friday morning, I spent time with the good and great of American fashion education, at a summit hosted by the CFDA, bringing together fashion educators from across the country. At the start of the day's proceedings, Julie Gilhart shared her own reflections about the Kanye West show and what it presages for the fashion business in the years to come.

We were back, full circle, talking about Kanye, the fashion system and fashion immediacy. And all of that happened in less than 24 hours. Stay tuned for all our coverage and analysis of what is shaping up to be one of the most action-packed and interesting fashion months yet.

Imran Amed, Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Enjoy our top stories for the week gone by:

How to Fix the Fashion System
With designers departing historic houses and the rise of digital creating a culture of more, more, more, BoF editor at large Tim Blanks joins designer Erdem Moralioglu, blogger Susanna Lau, publicist Daniel Marks and editor JJ Martin to discuss the problems facing the industry and how to fix them.

Streamlining Collections, Paul Smith Reveals Own Fashion Calendar Fix
As the nature of his business changes, the British designer will merge his design teams and collapse his many diffusion lines into two collections comprising both men's and womenswear, with four drops a year.

Esteban Cortázar Tackles Fashion's Timing Gap
For Paris-based Colombian designer Esteban Cortázar, designing and pre-selling a trans-seasonal collection, delivered eight weeks after fashion week, is the solution to the 'broken' fashion system.

Super Shrink Me: The Rise of the Mini Handbag
In the last decade, luxury handbag prices have skyrocketed. Now, brands are making smaller versions of iconic styles to win back aspirational consumers.

In Japan, Luxury Flourishes While Economy Flounders
Japan's economy is dipping in and out of recession, but the country is still one of the bright spots in the global luxury goods market. BoF reports.

The Risks of Changing Creative Directors
Changing the guard at the creative helm of a major fashion house is capital-intensive but can reap great rewards. What's at stake when fashion houses cycle through designers?

Galeries Lafayette Taps Bjarke Ingels for High-Concept Champs-Élysées Flagship
For their new flagship on the Champs-Élysées, a historic avenue that has lost some of its lustre, Galeries Lafayette has hired the avant-garde architects of Google's new HQ.

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