Michael Kors Skips New York Fashion Week for New Approach to Fashion Calendar
Michael Kors announced today that he will not present his fashion show during New York Fashion Week in September. The iconic designer and New York mainstay will instead present his Spring/Summer 2021 collection at a later date sometime between mid-October and mid-November.
The decision comes amid a wave of speculation about what the future of fashion shows look like. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the industry, many brands are considering streamlining the process of how collections are presented to and made available for the public. For Kors, the time is right.
I have for a long time thought that the fashion calendar needs to change. It’s exciting for me to see the open dialogue within the fashion community about the calendar—from Giorgio Armani to Dries Van Noten to Gucci to YSL to major retailers around the globe—about ways in which we can slow down the process and improve the way we work. We’ve all had time to reflect and analyze things, and I think many agree that it’s time for a new approach for a new era.
– Michael Kors
Keeping with the intention of a more streamlined approach, Michael Kors will also now present and produce two collections per year, one for spring/summer and one for fall/winter. The change will affect the way the brand produces is pieces and how the fashion media will respond to the announcements, but it also is made with the consumer in mind. There will be a shorter window between when the collection debuts and when it is available in stores, and with no pre-fall and resort collections, giving both the brand and the consumer more time and clarity in understanding and absorbing the collection.
“It is imperative that we give the consumer time to absorb the fall deliveries, which will just be arriving in September, and not confuse them with an overabundance of additional ideas, new seasons, products and images,” reflects Kors. “Prior to the late 1990s, the New York Spring collections were shown from late October to the beginning of November, after the Paris collections. That calendar was in place for many decades and worked quite smoothly, and particularly in this age with the speed of social media, showing the collection closer to when it will be delivered makes logical sense to me. I think it is also important to return to the idea that September and March are key months in launching the beginning of seasonal selling for the consumer. This is when key editorial and media content hit, when the weather is starting to change, and when people are ready to absorb new collections and product—that they can wear and shop immediately.”
It’s a smart move from a designer and creative director well aware of the changing needs of his industry. As social media experiences and digital shows proliferate in the wake of the industry’s slow-down, it is an important moment to reflect on the past and reconsider the future. It is still completely unclear what Michael Kors’ show will look like when it takes place on its new date, but it is exciting to see such an important player experiment with how he relates himself to his public. Will other brands and designers follow suit? Could this be the beginning of new timing for New York Fashion Week? Or the end of the schedule of fashion shows as we know it? Whatever happens, there is no going back. The only way through is forward.
Portrait Photo | Danny Clinch for The Impression Runway Photos | ImaxTree