As New York Fashion Week winds down, we cannot help but look back on its remarkable impact, the reverberations of which were felt globally. From groundbreaking shows to a rotary of established, international designers making their ">NYFW debut, the entire orchestration seemed to be infused with renewed sense of purpose. The eyes of the fashion world were fixated on New York where it was evident that something exciting was brewing.
The man behind this seismic shift is no other than CFDA’s newly appointed chairman, Tom Ford. Having taken the reigns of the CFDA in June, Ford’s priority was to elevate the standing of the American fashion industry in the international arena. At the top of his list was tightening up New York Fashion Week, an institution which in recent years had been lagging further and further behind its European counterparts. A difficult economy meant limited budgets which, in turn, saw fewer international press and buyers in New York. The lower exposure catalyzed an exodus of prominent designers, further exacerbating the problem.
Tom Ford’s first move as CFDA chairman was to shorten fashion week to increase its appeal and accessibility for foreign press and buyers. Behind the scenes, the CFDA actively worked with brands to extend overtures to international editors and influencers to nurture relationships and bolster overall fashion week exposure. At the same time, Ford’s vision for ">Fashion Week fostered the development of a unique NYFW brand experience which embraced the diversity, grit, glamour and culture of New York. Unconventional venues and show formats celebrated New York’s unhindered, non-conformist approach, setting it miles apart from the grandeur and traditions of Milan and Paris – a genius move.
The result was nothing short of spectacular, especially given that all this was accomplished within mere months. The buzz around New York Fashion Week was simply unmissable this season, largely attributable to the remarkable influx of international editors and influencers. Tom Ford has started off his tenure at the CFDA with a bang; setting into motion a multi-season strategy to elevate the exposure generated from NYFW. The ultimate goal is to reverse the degenerative patterns of the past few years to create a platform that allows both established and emerging designers the global exposure necessary to secure lucrative editorial, retail and strategic partnership opportunities. A hefty feat given what are some of the most difficult times for the fashion industry, but with such a strong debut season, it seems that NYFW is poised to step into the fashion limelight once again in what will be known as the Tom Ford era.
Until next season…