Front Row, am I right?




Earlier this year, the tombstone for NYFW was carved when Thom Browne, Proenza Schouler, Rodarte and more announced that they would instead present their collections in Paris. The fashion media went into a frenzy, anticipating that this indeed was the end. Flash forward to this present moment with fashion week officially at its halfway point. Some runways have been walked, some parties have been had and the root of this identity crisis has finally been revealed: New York Fashion Week’s audience and it’s critics are entirely consumed by every part of fashion week that honestly does not matter.

Welcome to the era where sitting front row at NYFW means having a certain number of followers; where self-made notoriety and glory provide the title and status of style. Where even without having an actual understanding or opinion surrounding fashion design still somehow presents you an invite and eventually fashion industry status. What the actual fuck? Has the NYFW platform really reduced itself to fueling influencers and celebrity so deeply, that it’s more about who’s who than the the actual art of fashion design? The hard fact that innovation and design have been removed from a majority and by majority I mean basically every conversation surrounding NYFW, truly perplexes me.

To me it’s insanely difficult to image an early New York fashion scene where the kings and queens of fashion were actually the designers. Where yes, supermodel status existed but only at the privilege of being one’s muse. Where collaborations came from instinct and artistic vision versus demands from exploitative marketing strategies and campaigns. Where the magic of the industry was found in the anticipation and excitement of introducing an inspired, hungry new designer to the entire world. Where is that industry? Has the digital age truly stripped any and all serendipity from a platform that homes progressive thinking and expression? Has it really sold out and sacrificed it’s being to the mainstream and all of it’s consumers?  If the NY fashion industry should be focused anything in this moment it should be to strip the industry from itself. To actually encourage fashion that is accessible to every gender and body-type. To denounce the Trump Era we are in by artfully and aggressively tearing the shit out of it. To embrace our current social climate, by visibly including and empowering the minority, specifically trans models and models of color. Literally, to say something bigger than five minutes of pretty clothes and faces walking down the runway.

It’s 2017 and yes the digital age and its influencers are here to stay. Forever? No way. But for now, if we are going to allow these individuals with how every many followers on Instagram that are considered “public figures” to wear and sit in the front row of one of popular culture’s most innovative, unpredictable stages, let’s at least do them a favor and enlighten them on the tradition that is NYFW.

Hero Image Via TSK

Stay tuned for more NYFW coverage.

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