If you knock, they will answer. At least this is the philosophy behind the CFDA’s announcement that for the first time in history, New York City will host a standalone Men’s Fashion Week to showcase the Spring/Summer 2016 collections. While the debut is set to take place from July 13th through 16th at the Skylight Clarkson Square, correlating with several other major Men’s Fashion Weeks around the world. Major designers, such as Calvin Klein Collection, rag & bone and Robert Geller along with a plethora of others, including several emerging designers, have agreed to participate with the outlook said to be extremely positive.
An event of this kind may seem a long time coming, but Agentry PR founder Erin Hawker believes the time is ripe for a platform promoting American menswear. “Historically, the European market has dressed a little bit savvier than the American men’s market and…in the last five years, we’ve seen that kind of shift and change, and men’s markets have really become super emerged in America,” she said to Deux Hommes. “It’s not surprising we haven’t had it before, but it’s about time we have it now.”
Hawker, who also spearheaded New York Men’s Day, a two-day event held during the New York City Women’s Ready-to-Wear collections showcasing an eclectic mix of emerging and mainstream men’s labels, said there wouldn’t be any changes to the annual event that was a precursor to the new showcase. In fact, they’re working with the CFDA to have NYMD as a part of Men’s Fashion Week.
Like any project in its beginnings, Men’s Fashion Week still has some kinks to work out. As this year’s show falls a full week before the men’s trade shows, it means buyers would need to spend more days in New York to attend both events. In addition, most buyers will have already seen and bought their spring menswear collections before the New York shows even happen.
Logistical issues aside, the main takeaway is the event’s accurate reflection of the industry’s changing landscape. “I think in the last few years, we’ve seen all these new men’s blogs, these men’s digital sites…the men’s market is real and it’s totally emerging in fashion,” Hawker said. “I think that there’s just as equally talented people in America as there are in London and Paris and Milan and around the rest of the world. We do definitely want to give the viewpoint of the American men’s designer.”