New York Fashion Week (NYFW) is a bi-annual event held in February and September, gathering international designers to showcase their collections for the season to buyers, the press, and the general public. The NYFW for Spring/Summer 23 (SS '23) has begun, starting September 9, with its last show on September 14.
As the fashion industry changes with time, there's always an introduction to new trends and innovations seen on the runways of these fashion events, and this year was no different. From Indian content creators replacing celebrities on the runway to Web3 and brands being sustainably conscious, the fashion week saw it all!
Key Highlights from NYFW 22:
Are influencers the new show stoppers?
Designer Archana Kochhar roped in content creator duo Gaurav Taneja and Ritu Rathee Taneja of Flying Beast and lifestyle influencer Aashna Hegde, making them one of the first Indian creators to walk at New York Fashion Week and as showstoppers.
As social media makes its way through various aspects of life, with several talented creators running the show, it seems like they will be running the runway, too! Designer Archana Kochhar mentioned how influencers pose as influential leaders in the field, so using them to promote Vocal for Local on a world stage was natural.
Gaurav and Ritu Rathee Taneja are a husband-wife duo hailing from Delhi with over 7 million subscribers on their YouTube channel— Flying Beast, with a massive following on Instagram too. They are known for their fitness, gaming, and personal vlogs, both working as pilots.
Aashna Hegde is one of "NOFILTR.Group", a pioneer of India's influencer marketing industry's leading talent. She is well-known for her fashion, beauty, and lifestyle videos, growing exponentially with her talent and spreading her wings to new areas.
Indian designers making their mark in the New York Fashion Week:
Fashion Week presents a plethora of designers on its runway, coming from various parts of the world, providing a platform for creators to showcase their skills, art, and talent for creating gorgeous garments fit for the season. Many Indian designers have started paving their way into these fashion weeks, with NYFW as one of them. New York Fashion Week 22 was no different as we saw the works of Archana Kochhar, Kanika Goyal, and even the young ones of Inter National Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD). Let's decode their collections:
For Fashion Week, Archana showcased her 'Jharokha' collection, highlighting the importance of sustainability in fashion. The line is a union of rational hand-loomed fabrics and distinctive western silhouettes, boasting colours and abstract designs. Its primary focus was on handmade locally-grown textiles having a low carbon footprint, all curated by women weavers belonging to the interiors of Madhya Pradesh. With this collection, she had to showcase the craftsmanship of Indian artisans, holding a sustainability angle to it, the perfect way to applaud them on a global level.
Marking her second season at the New York Fashion Week show, Kanika Goyal Label (KGL) debuted her S/S 23 collection named 'Starseed', being the only designer from India to represent the country for two running seasons. An amalgamation of colour bursts of green, blues, and red with neutrals, bringing a distinct sense of optimism and joy, the line features motifs of colourful poppies with tie-ups, sliced lotus stems, and exaggerated tropical leaves, with Y2K-inspired graphics and prints from the '70s. Following the sustainable and conscious footsteps, 30% of the collection uses upcycled denim and repurposed fabric scraps besides fluid silks, breezy cotton, light knits and jacquard. The designer explains that the range draws from feelings of divine energy coursing within finite bodies, connection to source energy, and angel numbers.
Inter National Institute of Fashion Design x London School of Trends
Presenting Indian Fashion Trunk, INIFD and London School of Trends joined hands during the New York Fashion Week this season, depicting India's rich culture, craftsmanship, art, design, textile, and originality from the various states of India. Adopting sustainable and eco-friendly fashion, following the five f's- Farm to fibre- fibre to factory- factory to fashion- fashion to foreign, their collection shows how up-to-date they are with the trends. The range is the hard work of students from diverse backgrounds, focusing on the upcoming spring and summer trends, involving 55 womenswear that reflects their personal narratives. It is designed on the principle of deconstruction using three garments, taking an experimental approach to develop and reconstruct different designs. The two leading schools paved the way for India's heritage, giving it a voice to empower people of the future, also allowing young and aspiring designers to showcase their talent to the world.
Sustainable brands spotted at New York Fashion Week.
No matter the field, sustainable and conscious living is catching up, with several brands following the eco-friendly footsteps. Like the Indian brands, many other notable eco-conscious brands participated in the New York Fashion Week:
An American womenswear designer, Angel Chang, specialises in craftsmanship and knowledge of the natives, creating garments handmade by the indigenous tribes in the mountains of Guizhou (China), using no electricity or fossil fuels being climate neutral certified. Her range— Weaving the future With Indigenous Textiles, took a minimum of six months to come to life. The collection saw suits and chose jackets in naturally dyed hues paired with wide-fit sandals.
Studio 189 comes from Africa, showcasing handcrafted textiles using sustainable natural fibres like recycled cotton, Tencel fabric made out of wood, pineapple pinatex leather from pineapple fibres, and recycled glass. The mission-based label supports African artisans, celebrating the Black heritage with their collection "Inheritance", which was the showcase for the fashion week, featuring items with prints and colours clashing for maximum impact. As their show fell on 9/11, it was a slight ode to those who lost their lives on that day, shown beautifully.
Selkie is the epitome of folklore aesthetic, their ready-to-wear collections featuring a range of partywear making you stand out. Their pretty pastels are nostalgic, extra and romantic, made in small batches, testing their products to predict the buying style. The brand works as a low-waste one, ensuring no contribution to landfills. Their collection tells a story, presenting a dreamy world through their clothing!
For NYFW '22, showcasing the Spring/Summer '23 collection, Tombogo took the route to high school, debuting a fashionable and fun range. In the "For The Truant & The Fluent" line, the audience saw shirts, skirts, pants, runner vests, varsity jackets, and more, curated from upcycled fabrics, with accessories like sunglasses, handbags, and hats. The brand is made-to-order, pushing the boundaries of work and streetwear, using deadstock materials from thrift stores to create the garments.
The Rise of Web3 @New York Fashion Week
The New York Fashion Week saw several firsts, and as digital fashion, NFTs and the Metaverse influenced our lives, it didn't stop the fashion week from embracing the same. The fashion week working with Afterpay saw five designers: Altu by Altuzarra, Jonathan Simkhai, Kim Shui, AnOnlyChild and The Blonds, granting access to those who buy $ 100 NFTs, unlocking various perks and benefits in the form of "Keys". With 50 keys per designer, there were 250 NFTs available to purchase on Keys.NYFW.com, allowing customers to select from two options: IRL NYFW Experience to attend the physical event or Designer Keepsake to obtain limited edition physical products. The move caught the interest of NFT enthusiasts for the Fashion Week.
Nolcha Shows were the host of a two-day show at the Fashion Week, where several Web3 natives premiered in real life, with a panel on its impact on the future fashion space. The brands participating were Web3, ready-to-wear brands like ChainGuardians, Oh Polly, and Nazaranaa. ChainGuardians was showcasing a Phygital (Physical + Digital) Street Wear Collection, featuring virtual immersion technology that allows people to wear their clothing in real life and don it on their avatars in the Metaverse. The brand OhZone, brought virtual fashion to life with 3DReal™ tech, turning physical garments into virtual NFT wearables for the Metaverse. In collaboration with YouCam Makeup App, fans immersed themselves into the world of NYFW, virtually trying the beauty and fashion looks featured on their smartphones.