Fashion is big business in NYC, so never confuse the surface glitz and glamor for what it is really about. It’s about selling clothes and the whole point of the glitz and glamor is to convince fashion editors, fashion buyers and fashion bloggers that these particular clothes in this Collection are the ones to buy. It cost around $175,000 to stage a runway show for a Collection and that is by no means the only outlay to get news out about the fabulousness of the clothing. At the very least there’ll also be a social media campaign and tempting offers made from the designer’s website.
Right now in NYC it is New York Fashion Week, NYFW, and it’s all happening, the end stage of a long process of ticking all the boxes which eventually mean sales, sales, sales. Designers usually pick a theme and design around that. That’s followed by the creation of garments and then all the preparation starts for the big reveal, the runway show for the Collection. That gets underway with casting the models, see the video which is an excellent example of how it is done. Also people are chosen to create the atmosphere and physical setting for the show and that will involve set designers and musicians to choose music. The designers have their favorite make-up artists, hair sytlists and dressers all of whom will work beforehand to work out the specifics of how each model will look to show of the clothes to the best advantage. And then it’s showtim, not forgetting having the right people in the audience.
A designer who this year has turned on a good show is Tommy Hilfiger who has never quite abandoned his preppy roots but is now deep into establishing serious fashion cred and all that showed when he presented his collection. His theme was a double header, celebrating 30 years in the business and also American sportswear. He didn’t do his show down at the Lincoln Center but hired the Armory on Fifth Avenue, and turned it into a stylized football field with astro turf. He got Victor Cruz of the New York Giants to sit in the front row and made the tickets look like tickets to an NFL game.
By picking sportswear as his theme he was betting the farm on the current ‘hotness’ of sportswear in the fashion stakes. And he had his social media campaign rolling along before the show by tweeting ‘looks’ before models even hit the runway. He also had his website all set up so buyers could buy instantly as soon as they saw items they liked on instagram or streaming online. Hilfiger is an interesting case study because while he is definitely part of NYC’s fashion elite he also caters quite self consciously to a middle of the road fashion taste by hooking his collection to something very familiar and dear to his customers, in this case football. And he threw in his important 30th anniversary by putting the number 30 on the sportsclothes. He’s very good at what he does and he sells a lot of clothes.