New York Fashion Week goes Digital, announces 2021 schedule

Jill Kortleve

New York Fashion Week will kick off its 2021 season with a Digital event.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the organizers of the semi-annual event are taking no risks and have announced that it will only run for three days. The event will be presented via RUNWAY 360: a digital platform which allows brands the flexibility to show their collections in a variety of formats.

According to the CFDA, through the platform, each participating brand is presented with a modular, customizable page for their storytelling and digital activations through which designers will be able to present their collections. The portal will support AR/VR, 360-degree capabilities, live video streams, e-commerce extensions, consumer shopping features, and social media integrations. The RUNWAY 360 platform is more than a response to social distancing and restricted travel and will help designers faced with short term needs caused by COVID-19 and support future market weeks.

This years’ line up of designers and brands for the three-day event includes several well-known names such as Carolina Herrera, Eckhaus Latta, Jonathan Simkhai, LaQuan Smith, Naeem Khan, Nicole Miller, Veronica Beard, and Zero + Maria Cornejo. Others such as Michael Kors, Proenza Schouler, Brandon Maxwell, Tory Burch, and Prabal Gurung have all decided to show their collections later while Marc Jacobs will be skipping the Spring / Summer 2021 season altogether. In their stead ten names are new to the schedule: Aknvas, Anne Klein, Colleen Allen, Dur Doux, Duncan, Frederick Anderson, Frere, Imitation of Christ, Oak & Acorn, Venicew, Wiederhoeft, and Wolk Morais. New York Men’s Day (NYMD) will also return to the Official NYFW Schedule and showcase 10 menswear designers including CFDA members David Hart and Timo Weiland.

‘The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the global fashion industry and hit New York particularly hard,’ said Steven Kolb, Chief Executive Officer of the CFDA. ‘Fashion week is a critical time when brands are able to connect with press, retailers, and consumers, and I’m proud of how quickly the CFDA pivoted to support the needs of the industry by creating RUNWAY360. We are excited to see 10 new American brands on the schedule – many for the first time – who might not have had the opportunity to share their collections to a global audience without access to RUNWAY360. We’re also excited to highlight the incredible talent coming out of Harlem’s Fashion Row and announce the return of New York Men’s Day. In the face of unprecedented challenges and uncertainty within our industry, the American fashion community has once again come together to support each other and prove its resilience.’

New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2021 will take place between Monday, September 14, and Wednesday, September 16. It will start with Jason Wu and Harlem’s Fashion Row’s virtual fashion experience and will conclude with Tom Ford.

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