What to Expect at New York Fashion Week Spring 2021

With some major changes, New York Fashion Week is going forward.

The spring 2021 season will look very different with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has effectively eliminated the large-scale, in-person shows that have been the norm. Instead, most designers and brands are showing in hybrid formats including livestreams, videos, look books and other digital activations.

Another big change is that New York Fashion Week is shrinking its schedule, now running just four days as compared to six from previous seasons.

The week is also seeing the addition of the CFDA Fashion Awards, which was postponed from June, and the return of New York Men’s Day. Additionally, Harlem’s Fashion Row will be hosting its 13th annual Style Awards.

From which designers are showing to how to participate in the digital activations, here is everything you can expect from New York Fashion Week spring 2021.

When is New York Fashion Week?

The truncated New York Fashion Week schedule runs from Sept. 13 to 16. The week begins with Jason Wu, who is showing his spring 2021 collection during a live fashion show on the roof of Spring Studios to a limited audience. Ending the week is Tom Ford, who will be releasing photos of his spring collection.

Which fashion designers are showing during New York Fashion Week?

Despite the short schedule, many major fashion designers and brands are showing during New York Fashion Week. The list includes Adeam, Alabama Chanin, Alice + Olivia, Anna Sui, Badgley Mischka, Bibhu Mohapatra, Carolina Herrera, Chromat, Christian Cowan, Christian Siriano, Cinq à Sept, Claudia Li, Dennis Basso, Eckhaus Latta, Jason Wu, Jonathan Simkhai, LaQuan Smith, Marchesa and Marchesa Notte, Naeem Khan, Nicole Miller, Rebecca Minkoff, Tadashi Shoji, Tanya Taylor, Tom Ford, Veronica Beard and Zero + Maria Cornejo, among others.

Fifteen are new to the schedule, including Aknvas, Anne Klein, Colleen Allen, Dur Doux, Duncan, Frère, Imitation of Christ, Oak & Acorn, VeniceW, Wiederhoeft and Wolk Morais.

Which fashion designers are not showing during New York Fashion Week?  

A few major fashion designers and brands will not be participating in the upcoming New York Fashion Week, including Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Gabriela Hearst, Oscar de la Renta, Proenza Schouler, Tory Burch and Prabal Gurung.

Many of these designers have instead released alternative plans for their collections. Michael Kors will be presenting his spring 2021 collection on Oct. 15 in a multilayered digital experience streamed on social media and digital platforms. Gabriela Hearst has plans to show during Paris Fashion Week. Prabal Gurung will be showing his collection privately to buyers, press and brand supporters. Proenza Schouler is releasing digital assets for its spring 2021 collection in mid- to late-October and Tory Burch will release a digital look book at a later time.

Will there be live fashion shows?

New York Fashion Week will include a few live, outdoor fashion shows, but audiences are limited to 50 people in compliance with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s health and safety guidelines.

The designers who have announced they are hosting live shows are Jason Wu and Rebecca Minkoff. The shows will also be livestreamed.

How will designers host their fashion shows?

Most designers are presenting their collections in hybrid formats that include livestreamed videos, digital look books and shopping events.

While Spring Studios remains the central hub for fashion week, NYFW.com will service as the digital hub for livestreams and exclusive content.

Designers will also be streaming their shows on Runway360.

What is Runway360?  

The Council of Fashion Designers of America revealed on July 24 its new digital platform, Runway360.

The platform enables brands and designers to show their collections in different formats, including livestreams, look books, videos and movies. Roughly 60 designers will be using the platform to present during New York Fashion Week, with shows rotating every half hour.

Runway360 supports AR/VR, 360-degree capabilities, livestreams, e-commerce extensions, shopping features and social media integration. Designers can also host virtual press conferences and present press kits through the platform.

The platform is available for brands, consumers and the media.

Is Harlem’s Fashion Row hosting its style awards?

Harlem’s Fashion Row is hosting its 13th annual Style Awards virtually on Sept. 13. The awards ceremony will include a fashion show with three designers: Kimberly Goldson, Rich Fresh and Kristian Loren.

A video of the digital fashion show will be available to the public on Sept. 19, as well as a Q&A with the designers.

During the awards ceremony, British Vogue editor in chief Edward Enninful will be honored with the Maverick of the Year award and Teen Vogue editor in chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner will receive the Editor of the Year award. Pyer Moss designer Kerby Jean-Raymond will receive the Designer of the Year Award and Nate Hinton will receive the Publicist of the Year award.

Are the CFDA Fashion Awards happening during New York Fashion Week?

The CFDA Fashion Awards are being held virtually on Sept. 14 with winners revealed that morning on the CFDA’s web site and social channels.

See the full list of CFDA Fashion Awards nominees here.

What other changes will be made to New York Fashion Week?

The spring 2021 season will see the return of New York Men’s Day, which will take place on Sept. 15 from 9 to 11 a.m. The event will showcase 10 emerging men’s wear and gender-fluid designers, including Apotts, Carter Young, David Hart, Future Lovers of Tomorrow, Ka Wa Key, Official Rebrand, Stan, Teddy Vonranson, Timo Weiland and Wataru Tominaga.

How can I watch New York Fashion Week shows?

Viewers can tune in to fashion shows virtually through Runway360 of on NYFW.com.

Some designers may restrict access on who can watch their shows during their allotted time so that only retailers and media can view the collection when it debuts.

Read more here:

A New York Fashion Week Like None Other

Tom Ford Talks Crisis Mode

Paris Adds 10 New Labels to Upcoming Fashion Week

WATCH: Looking Back at New York Fashion Week Spring 2020

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