So just how important is Fashion Week to the business of Fashion? Well, according to the numbers that the NYC Tourism Bureau released – very important. New York Fashion Week contributes more revenue to the city than any other annual event in the NY Metro area. More than the U.S. Open tennis tournament, football games, and concerts. Restaurants, taxi cabs, hotels and even street vendors experience a major lift in their businesses when Fashion Week is in full swing. The short-term objective for Fashion Week – to drive sales for the local businesses – is always a success.
What about the national retail community? Do the “looks” that march down the runway actually make it in-store and influence the consumer buy the new product? The answers are yes and yes. As we see the annual evolution in how the brands and designers utilize Fashion Week as a platform, we find the runway is becoming more accessible to the consumer. They have more access to the shows via the media and internet allowing them to view the shows first-hand. This component, part of the larger strategy for the more cutting-edge designers and brands to connect with their consumer rather than the couture fashion crowd, is working.
The use of unwearable fashion is not obsolete, but the smartest brands and designers today find a way to get the right balance to be able to sell the brand to the retailer as well as to the consumer. Fashion is relevant again. Men have already shown signs that image matters by their desire to invest in their wardrobes to look good. Women were missing in action the past few years but in the past four months they have started to update their tired wardrobes to show a renewed fashion sense. This year, Fashion Week has elevated retailers and brands in the eye of the consumers and as a result, got them back in the game.