This week, with much excitement, the American fashion establishment launched New York Fashion Week: Men’s, a new menswear event, running from July 13th to July 16th, which has attracted brands like John Varvatos, Tommy Hilfiger, Coach, Thom Browne and Public School. Stephen Kolb, the chief executive of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the chief architect of the event, says the showcase aims to provide a dedicated platform for American menswear designers, enabling them to present their collections in their home market at a time better synchronised with the retail buying schedule.
July is certainly better than September, when many American menswear designers previously showed their Spring/Summer collections as part of a cluttered New York women’s fashion week. But some have wondered whether this is still too late, coming at the start of the traditional summer break and two weeks after the close of the menswear shows in Europe, where several of the more established names on New York’s new menswear schedule still stage their primary shows.
The ultimate gauge of success, however, will be the number of journalists and buyers that attend and the volume of the resulting media coverage and orders they produce. Will New York Fashion Week: Men’s work? And what will it take to turn this incipient event into a powerful part of the global menswear calendar?