Big name designers chose LA over New York to show new collections

Why designers are ditching NYFW in droves

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Tom Ford and Tommy Hilfiger are names people expect to see a NYFW. But this year, they were among a number of high-end designers that ditched New York Fashion Week, and headed to LA instead. In a bid to keep up with the fast paced and changing fashion landscape, a growing number of labels are breaking away from the old rituals attached to the fashion industry, looking to the West coast and beyond to freshen up a tired look.

This year’s event sees 11 fewer shows scheduled into the calendar over the eight day period compared to 2016, with a number of key influencers and celebrities opting to head across the country instead. “This season we wanted to take the experience to one of our biggest markets: Los Angeles,” says Uri Minkoff, CEO of Rebecca Minkoff, who hopes that doing so will satiate the craving for the ‘luxury of experience’ the brand’s Gen Y market desires. Tommy Hilfiger’s collaboration with model Gigi Hadid also took place in LA before Fashion Week officially commenced, when many celebrities were conveniently already in town for the Grammys.

Dubbed as both “the land of possibility” and the land of instant gratification, LA is a natural progression for fashion designers who want to reveal their latest work while breaking away from the old regimes that come as standard in the luxury industry. Minkoff hosted a pop-up shop adjacent to the show location, where the collection was immediately available to purchase for eager fashion-lovers — a behaviour that Hilfiger has also tapped into with #TommyNow.

Snubbing traditional calendar events for something unexpected consolidates the reputations of these brands as trendsetters, allowing them to dictate the industry and set the agenda. From Vetements ‘faking’ its own garments to Burberry combining menswear and womenswear, fashion — formerly known for its rigid rules — is starting to let loose. “One thing fashion (possibly) adores more than art is raising eyebrows,” writes journalist Lauren Sharkey. This bold defection from New York Fashion Week spells a new and exciting future for how designers are breaking the rules in order to make a scene both online and offline.

Mica Anthony is Canvas8’s editorial assistant. She’s passionate about uncovering the newest electronic music producers, re-living ’90s fashion and championing the voices often left out of mainstream media.