Depop, IMG Models Launch Online Pop-up to Benefit Black in Fashion Council

Depop, IMG Models Launch Online Pop-up to Benefit Black in Fashion Council

Depop and IMG Models have joined forces to unveil an exclusive Depop shop that will benefit the Black in Fashion Council.Shoppers who look to models for style cues can now buy their pre-loved things — IMG Models has mined the closets of Joan Smalls, Ian Jeffrey, Kaylin Rivera Baer, Lily Aldridge, Tess McMillan and Wisdom Kaye, for pre-worn apparel, jewelry, bags and accessories to offer exclusively through the IMG Models shop on Depop.
The online shop is live and will remain that way for one month. Items being sold on the online shop retail from $25 to $400, and 100 percent of the sale price for each item sold (save for the applicable PayPal transaction fee) will be donated to the Black in Fashion Council to further their efforts around diversity and inclusion in the industry.

“Fashion is all about self-expression — a physical manifestation of our emotions, and a way for people, no matter who they are, to be seen in their truest forms,” supermodel and activist Smalls said in a statement. “It’s so important that those in and out of the industry continue to support organizations like [the] Black in Fashion Council, who are fighting for diversity, equity and inclusion within fashion.…Everyone, no matter the color of their skin, their size, or their background, deserves to feel included in the industry, and that’s why we’re all on a mission to change fashion.”

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Racism remains a crucial problem in the fashion industry with Black professionals continuing to face “widespread discrimination and prejudice,” according to the first BIFC Human Rights Campaign report, which was released last month. Along with having “upheld white supremacist ideologies” and having created “glorified standards of beauty and artistic expression that are explicitly anti-Black,” the industry is lacking in many ways, the report noted.
The council is comprised of editors, models, media executives, freelancers and other creatives who are trying to build a new foundation for inclusivity. The organization is committed to creating lasting change in the industry in an array of areas. Improving diversity, inclusion and pay inequities within individual companies and executive boards, as well as through marketing and advertising are some of the issues that need attention, the council report noted.
Regarding how the funds from the exclusive online shop will be used, council cofounder Sandrine Charles said: “We are going to finalize and announce at the top of 2022 once we have an amount.”
Widely known models like Smalls, who was recently photographed by Chrisean Rose for the December/January edition of InStyle, will help boost interest in the Depop initiative through their fans and followers — Smalls has 4.4 million followers on Instagram alone.
Having modeled for Victoria’s Secret, H&M and Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition among many others, Aldridge has a robust base of her own with 5.6 million followers on Instagram. And she said she’s honored to support the council along with IMG Models and Depop in this cause.
“It gives me so much joy that my items will have a second life with people who are making positive change in the world,” Aldridge said.

Fashion icon and content creator Kaye is looking to the future with the project. “There are kids in the world searching for someone, who looks like them, who’s doing what they want to do when they grow up, and this is what motivates me to push forward and it’s why I am honored to support the Black in Fashion Council,” Kaye said.
Models aren’t the only ones bringing their communities to this endeavor. Resale platform Depop is said to have more than 26 million users.
IMG Models has been exploring ways to “continue supporting underrepresented Black talent and creatives,” according to director of marketing and production Ryan Dye, who is proud that the company’s models “are coming together to support the BIFC and their initiatives.”

CFDA, IMG Team Up to Present New York Fashion Week Schedule

CFDA, IMG Team Up to Present New York Fashion Week Schedule

Have the CFDA and IMG forged a truce?
In an about-face, the Council of Fashion Designers of America in partnership with IMG released the Official New York Fashion Week Schedule as part of the American Collections Calendar.
The shows, which will run Sept. 8 to 12, celebrate the reopening of New York City with in-person shows after two seasons of predominantly digital presentations. In total, there are plans to hold 91 shows and presentations from American and international designers.
The CFDA owns and manages the Fashion Calendar, including the Official NYFW Calendar under the American Collections Calendar. IMG is the official organizer and operator of NYFW’s event and official central hub, NYFW: The Shows, which will take place mainly at Spring Studios, along with other locations.

Historically, CFDA and IMG, which have different functions, have released separate show calendars for NYFW, although several designers would appear on both. IMG has previously added extra days to what CFDA has considered the “official” show dates — all contributing to a confusing show week. While both organizations would frequently reiterate they were working together, there always appeared to be a divide and observers wondered, which organization is really in charge of New York Fashion Week?
But this season, the CFDA and IMG said they are working “hand in hand” to organize it.

“CFDA and IMG always worked in tandem on the official schedule to make sure that shows and presentations were aligned,” said Steven Kolb, chief executive officer of the CFDA. “With this season’s return of in-person shows and the anticipation and excitement around New York Fashion Week, it was imperative, more than ever, to have a clear and cohesive schedule, which is why we strengthened our collaboration and are releasing a unified, official NYFW schedule.”
NYFW kicks off with Ulla Johnson on Sept. 8 at 9 a.m. and closes with Tom Ford on Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. Other highlights include the return to New York City of Thom Browne and Altuzarra, as well as anniversary collections from Carolina Herrera and Rachel Comey. The schedule also features Michael Kors, Gabriela Hearst, Tory Burch, Anna Sui, Oscar de la Renta, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Sergio Hudson, Adam Lippes, Tanya Taylor, Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Monse, Coach, Proenza Schouler, Rodarte, Brandon Maxwell, Zero Maria Cornejo, Markarian, Telfar, Khaite, Staud, Jason Wu, Jonathan Simkhai, Dennis Basso, Kevan Hall, Cinq a Sept, Cynthia Rowley, Veronica Beard, Victor Glemaud and Rebecca Minkoff.
CFDA said it is welcoming  international  designers such as Moschino by Jeremy Scott, Peter Dundas of Dundas and Peter Do to the NYFW schedule. Additional highlights include 2021 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists Hanifa, Willy Chavarria, LaQuan Smith, Eckhaus Latta, KHIRY, Batsheva, Theophilio, Studio 189, House of Aama, and Kenneth Nicholson, and New York Men’s Day.
As reported, NYFW will feature the launch of the IMG Fashion Alliance, which is supporting 11 American designers showing during NYFW for the next three seasons at Spring Studios. Those are Telfar, Rodarte, Proenza Schouler, Altuzarra, Brandon Maxwell, Prabal Gurung, Sergio Hudson, Monse, Jason Wu, LaQuan Smith and Markarian.

By working together, the organizations look to strengthen and reaffirm New York as a global fashion capital with a shared vision in promoting creativity and commerce, they said. Their increased tie-up comes as the industry aims to celebrate American fashion in September with the return of IRL shows as well as the new exhibit at the Costume Institute, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” which will bow with the Met Gala on Sept. 13, the day after Ford’s show. He will be an honorary chair along with Anna Wintour and Adam Mosseri, while Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman, Timothée Chalamet and Naomi Osaka will be the co-chairs.
“New York Fashion Week is back with a diverse lineup representative of the future of American fashion,” said Kolb. “Our fashion industry has come together as we continue to emerge from the pandemic, and a collaborative spirit is paramount to the success of our creative talents. Working in tandem with IMG has enabled us to present a singular official New York Fashion Week schedule of shows and presentations within the American Collections Calendar.”

Steven Kolb 

Leslie Russo, president of IMG’s Fashion Events and Properties, said, “As we look forward to this September season, we are proud to come together with the CFDA to support the revitalization of New York Fashion Week. It’s time to rebuild, and only together can we ensure New York remains the flourishing fashion capital that it is.”

Leslie Russo 
courtesy shot.

The American Collections Calendar was created as CFDA’s response to support designers who show collections outside traditional market week dates. That includes the Christian Siriano and Harlem’s Fashion Row runway shows that will be held Sept. 7.
The shows and presentations will continue to be presented via Runway360, CFDA’s centralized digital hub and business tool to support American fashion brands year-round, especially during New York’s women’s, men’s, pre-collections and bridal markets with their domestic and international businesses and global exposure. Runway360 is in partnership with American Express.
The in-person shows will take place in accordance with New York State Health Guidelines and the CFDA will advise designers and show producers on best practices through an expanded health, wellness and diversity memo.

Asked about the synergies they expect to accomplish by working together, Kolb told WWD: “Both CFDA and IMG work closely with fashion creatives across the American fashion industry, and through our collaboration, we can firmly put the focus on the talent and creativity of our designers who are showing  during the week.” He said the CFDA and IMG are working more closely and collaboratively than ever on the organization of NYFW “to give a spotlight to designers in the American fashion market on the global stage.”
As to whether the seminars and events surrounding New York Fashion Week will be jointly sponsored, Russo said NYFW: The Shows’ expanded calendar will be released later this summer that will include additional designers, digital releases, programming and special events beyond the shows and is organized by IMG.
Kolb noted that the relationship is ongoing and they look forward to evolving it in seasons to come.
Discussing whether they sat down together to figure out the calendar and whether there were people from both organizations assigned to the task, Kolb said: “CFDA and IMG have always operated that way, but have never really discussed this publicly. We align on the scheduling of shows to make sure there are no major conflicts in timing and location and that the week runs as seamlessly as possible.”
Asked what they anticipate some of the challenges will be, Kolb said: “There is always the challenge of managing over 100 designers, locations, hair/makeup teams, model conflicts and more — this requires all stakeholders to collaborate, and this season we have the American fashion industry come together even more than ever for the greater success of NYFW.”
Kolb noted that with their joint efforts, CFDA won’t be getting involved with production, and Kolb and Russo confirmed there will be no revenue-sharing. “IMG Focus is our in-house production company for NYFW: The Shows and produces the central hub, programming, special events and fashion shows,” said Russo. “There has been an incredible interest in live events this season, our stronger partnership with the CFDA is just one of the IMG initiatives that is rebuilding a stronger NYFW.” Russo noted that NYFW: The Shows new presenting partner is Afterpay, and they will have several new partners they will reveal closer to the event.

Industry consultant Fern Mallis reacted favorably to the news of the two organizations working more closely together.
“If the CFDA wants to play a leading role there should be one calendar,” said Mallis, who was the executive director of the CFDA and created 7th on Sixth, which produced the fashion shows and was sold to IMG in 2001. “All the entities should work together for a common goal. There’s no reason they shouldn’t be supporting one another.”
Kolb said that he’s excited that NYFW: The Shows will host at Spring Studios, and noted that there are designers who will choose to present their collections in other venues as well.
As reported, the Fifth Avenue Association plans to host runway shows and events at 608 Fifth Avenue in September. The three-story venue will be transformed into a runway, presentation and activation space for designers and brands.

A view of 608 Fifth Avenue. 
Daniel Rey Lozano

In other news, the CFDA said it has renewed Tom Ford’s contract as chairman of the CFDA for another one-year term. When Ford assumed the role in 2019, he said he would commit to a two-year term. He wasn’t available for comment on his yearlong extension.

Tom Ford 
Courtesy of Tom Ford

Ford’s tenure has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With a key focus being diversity, Ford’s first move was to secure the election to the CFDA board of four people of color: Virgil Abloh, Maria Cornejo, Carly Cushnie and Kerby Jean-Raymond. The CFDA responded to the COVID-19 crisis by launching A Common Thread campaign, a fundraising and storytelling initiative spearheaded by Vogue and in collaboration with the CFDA. Ford also promoted the CFDA’s former chief financial officer CaSandra Diggs to the post of president, hired Bonnie Morrison as director of equity, growth and  engagement and established the Black Advisory Board, chaired by Tracy Reese, the CFDA’s vice chair.
Ford also renamed New York Fashion Week Calendar the American Collections Calendar. With a growing number of American designers showing their collections later in the season and sometimes outside of New York, either that be in Europe, Asia or other key markets, Ford decided that the CFDA should include all American designers within the calendar and on Runway360, its digital platform.

Ironically, when Ford got the job he was asked in September 2019 about IMG’s move to jump-start the show calendar by two days, when CFDA was trying to condense the schedule. “This was new to me,” Ford said of the extent of those shows deemed by the CFDA as “off-calendar.” “I’m like, ‘IMG — who? What? Well, I’m glad to know this because I will have to take them on next season.…But yes, the point of trying to do five days is trying to do five days.”

To view the official New York Fashion Week Schedule:

IMG Creates Fashion Alliance With 11 American Designers for NYFW
New York Fashion Week Fall 2021 Chaos: How Do We Get People Excited About Clothes Again? 
CFDA’s Impact Platform to Support and Nurture Black Talent

Fresh Faces, Indigenous Voices Reenergize Australian Fashion Week

Fresh Faces, Indigenous Voices Reenergize Australian Fashion Week

SYDNEY — Kicking off with a 60,000-year-old smoking ceremony and catapulting a flurry of new names, a number of them Indigenous, the newly minted Afterpay Australian Fashion Week returned to Sydney this month after a two-year hiatus with a new, inclusive spirit and a packed live runway schedule.
On the opening day, there was a palpable sense of relief among attendees to be back networking with their peers after 18 months of Zoom chats and off-again-on-again lockdowns. The industry mood was also buoyed by the results of an Ernst & Young report that were released that morning by the Australian Fashion Council, which revealed the Australian fashion industry contributes more than 27.2 billion Australian dollars, or $21 billion, to the Australian economy and creates 7.2 billion Australian dollars, or $6 billion, in exports — more than double the export revenues of Australia’s wool, wine and beer sectors, respectively.

Ninety-seven Australian and New Zealand brands were featured throughout the five-day resort 2022 collections showcase, the event’s delayed 25th anniversary, which wrapped on June 4 at the Carriageworks venue. The majority of the 48 presentations were live runway shows, complemented by a handful of fashion films and a substantially boosted talks program.
Event organizer IMG could not, at press time, supply any attendance data. However, with no international delegates due to Australia’s ongoing travel bans, numbers seemed down on 2019, which was attended by some 1,600 industry professionals from more than 20 countries. The 2020 event was canceled altogether due to the pandemic.

The new, integrated consumer program “The Experience” saw one dedicated see now, buy now consumer show included on the schedule on each of the five days, presented by new naming rights sponsor Afterpay. All of the shows sold out, according to IMG, seating anywhere from 400 to 600 people per show, pending the layout. Two brands — Romance Was Born and Bassike — doubled down on shows, each presenting a trade show and a public one.
Nine of the trade-focused wholesale collections shows also opened up a small number of seats to the public.
Beyond mandatory temperature checks and NSW Government QR code check-ins at entry to Carriageworks, only pit photographers and backstage crews had to mask up and there was no social distancing in the seating plans.
“The AAFW resort 2022 collections showcase reminded us of moments taken for granted pre-pandemic, including the magical spectacle of a live runway and seeing the creativity of fashion and retail come to life,” said Bridget Veals, general manager of women’s wear, footwear and accessories at Australian department store chain David Jones.
“There were so many standout shows including Ginger & Smart, Kitx, Oroton, Commas and Anna Quan,” she added. “Bondi Born’s runway amongst the most quintessential Sydney backdrops [the Overseas Passenger Terminal, overlooking Sydney Harbour] was a real highlight. Showcasing their full resort collection, which consisted of effortless halter maxis, matching separates and chic trousers, all in an inspiring color palette of punchy sorbet tones. I loved how seamlessly they merged resort and ready-to-wear.”

“There seems to be a united feeling that every attendee is extremely grateful and happy to be out and about interacting, catching up and connecting, whilst enjoying the creativity, exhibitions and buzz of the busy scheduling,” said Eva Galambos, director of Sydney multibrand luxury boutique Parlour X, whose favorite shows included Romance Was Born, which presented a collection composed of deadstock and upcycled vintage fabrics against a fantasy fairground backdrop; Christopher Esber; Albus Lumen; Bassike; as well as a heavy roster of newcomers who joined the schedule this year.
Galambos’ newbies picks included Non Plus, a luxury men’s wear line that was launched at an off-site show at Bondi restaurant Icebergs by Sydney restaurateur and Ten Pieces cofounder Maurice Terzini, in collaboration with Gareth Moody, ex-Ksubi and Chronicles of Never designer. Also, the avant-garde striped knits and oversize silhouettes of 2017 Central Saint Martins graduate Jordan Dalah, who was given the prestigious opening slot; multidisciplinary designer Jordan Gogos, whose psychedelic romp of a show felt like Mardi Gras-meets-Willy Wonka; this year’s National Designer Award winner Commas, and two separate Indigenous showcases produced by the First Nations Fashion and Design collective and the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation’s Indigenous Fashion Projects initiative, which between them introduced 13 First Nations names to the wider industry, including Grace Lillian Lee, Ngarru Miimi, Aarli, Kirrikin Australia, Maara Collective, Liandra Swim and Ngali.
The first of the Indigenous shows, staged by FNFD, featured an all-Indigenous cast and crew. Political messages about Indigenous land rights resonated through powerful musical performances from the artists William Barton, rapper Neil Morris and electronic duo Electric Fields. The show drew a standing ovation which lasted for minutes and left many attendees in tears.
AAFW’s Indigenous program, which also included the opening Welcome to Country, on-site showrooms and seminars, will continue to be “a central focus of the event moving forward,” said Natalie Xenita, vice president and managing director of IMG Fashion Events & Properties, Asia Pacific.

“Seeing our Indigenous designers being part of fashion week was incredible,” said Anna Brennan, general manager of fashion at Global Fashion Group’s The Iconic, Australasia’s largest online fashion retailer, which is planning to introduce Indigenous brands to its lineup.
“We’re really excited to add these brands to our assortment, two in particular — Grace Lillian Lee and Ngarru Miimi,” Brennan added. “But there’s a list of quite a few that we are in the midst of following up. We see them sitting with our designer section. Definitely, they would be as part of our elevated assortment.”
Brennan’s other favorite shows included Christopher Esber, Oroton, Romance Was Born and men’s wear brands Christian Kimber, Commas and Non Plus.
Gender-fluid dressing was another key highlight of the week, said Brennan — along with a noticeable proliferation of nonbinary models on AAFW’s runways.
Other key overall trends included a return to better dressing, as seen in a number of collections through reimagined, soft tailoring; matching sets; crochet; resort-appropriate leather; a fresh, bright color palette including hot pink, mango, forest green and pops of neon, and headscarves in several collections.
Although specializing in what she calls “wow dressing” and party pieces, the pandemic wasn’t all bad for Shannon Thomas of Sydney boutique Désordre, who has opened two new stores since September, due in part to more flexible post-COVID-19 business terms, as well as her business blowing up on Instagram throughout the pandemic via locked-down consumers eager for escapism, she said. Christopher Esber, who specializes in intricate eveningwear that’s heavy on embellishment and cutouts, has been Désordre’s number-one brand for the past three years.
A number of international retailers that have for years sent buyers down to attend the event in person, facilitated by the event’s sponsored travel and accommodation program, registered with IMG as “digital delegates” this year and caught the runway action via IMG’s global streaming platform, following up with appointments in virtual showrooms.
The latter included Australian start-up, which showcased the collections of 25 participating designers via its ongoing partnership with the Australian Fashion Council. Collections in the AFC Virtual on Ordre showrooms, which will be open until the end of June, had at press time been viewed 431 times by 52 unique buyers in 12 countries, Ordre told WWD.

“Overall, it was a brilliant example of a multiplatform fashion week, incorporating both physical and digital presentations — I witnessed various films, shows, presentation and conversations,” said Lea Cranfield, chief buying and merchandising officer at Net-a-porter, whose highlights, viewed remotely, included Bondi Born, Bassike, Anna Quan and Michael Lo Sordo.
“All designers really elevated their collections, taking them to the next level of resortwear, through unique methods and aesthetics. Bondi Born and Bassike, in particular, presented a modern lifestyle approach this season,” she added.
“Loungewear to luxe is quite prominent this fashion week — from silk separates that felt modern, yet subtle enough for lounging or dressing up. Additionally, sunset silky shades are also a must covet item this season,” Cranfield said.
Michael Lo Sordo’s and Bondi Born’s shows were also tapped by Browns Fashion rtw buying manager Holly Tenser as her top shows, along with Byron Bay-based St Agni.
“I thought Bondi Born was beautifully presented — it really transported me remotely to Sydney, with the incredible views of Sydney Harbour and the iconic Harbour Bridge in the background,” said Tenser, who reports Browns is continuing to see strong growth across the business post-COVID-19. “The collection had a strong focus on ready-to-wear, continuing to develop from the swim, and this evolution really made sense to be present in a city location.”
Perth-based Showroom-X, a new Australian e-commerce platform, which targets the mainland Chinese market, came up with its own twist on AAFW’s new see now, buy now component by working with Non Plus to make its presentation a shoppable trunk show.
With delivery in October, Showroom-X is taking a 30 percent deposit on Non Plus runway looks — which are presented on the Showroom-X website photographed on a woman.
“If you go to Icebergs [the restaurant] right now, there’s a QR code on the back of the menu and at the show, there was a QR code at the front and that took you straight to our site where you could pr-order straight from the runway,” said Showroom-X creative director Kelly Atkinson. “It’s see now, buy now but in a considered way, that’s preordered off wholesale. I think that’s kind of the future of fashion weeks — it has to be kind of that consumer-driven mentality. This was a way of marrying the two for us. So OK, we can have the wholesale clients there, but we can also get a real-time customer feedback. Because it’s so different from a buyer’s perspective.”

She added, “I think that that data is invaluable in this day and age. It means that we’re producing less and considering the products that we are making already sold.”

Physical Shows, Virtual Showrooms Unveiled for Australian Fashion Week

Physical Shows, Virtual Showrooms Unveiled for Australian Fashion Week

SYDNEY — Live runway shows will account for almost 90 percent of Afterpay Australian Fashion Week’s upcoming resort 2022 showcase, while designers will also have access to virtual showrooms.
At an event at the Sydney Opera House on Tuesday morning Sydney time, IMG unveiled its near complete schedule for what will be the event’s delayed 25th anniversary showcase at Sydney’s Carriageworks venue from May 31 to June 4. The 2020 iteration was canceled due to COVID-19. At least 36 live runway shows and five digital presentations showcasing more than 70 designers were confirmed at time of writing. Additional brands will take part in IMG’s on-site physical showroom facility, The Suites.

Participating designers include Maggie Marilyn, Alice McCall, Albus Lumen, Ginger & Smart, Romance Was Born, Bassike, Christopher Esber, Christian Kimber, Macgraw, KitX, Oroton, Bondi Born, White Sands, Aqua Blu and newcomers including Auteur, Jordan Dalah and Jordan Gogos. Twelve Indigenous designers, including Maara Collective, Ngali and Liandra Swim, will appear in two separate Indigenous showcases.
Dalah, a 2017 graduate of London’s Central Saint Martins, who already sells internationally and has been awarded an Afterpay scholarship and mentorship program, will open the show schedule on May 31, following a traditional Indigenous Welcome to Country.

Newcomer Jordan Dalah, a graduate of London’s Central Saint Martins, will open the event’s show schedule on May 31. 

While most designers will present wholesale collections, eight are staging see now, buy now shows as part of IMG’s “Afterpay Australian Fashion Week: The Experience” ticketed consumer program.
The event’s digital program has been dramatically expanded for 2021.
Similar to what IMG unveiled last year with NYFW: The Shows, all on-site shows and the event’s talks program will be live streamed via IMG’s OTT platform, which will offer 24-7 on-demand access to a library of fashion content. All off-site shows will appear on the platform within four hours.
In a first for IMG at any of its events, the company is partnering with an external virtual showroom specialist:, which was also founded by Australian Fashion Week founder Simon Lock.
Via an extension to its year-old AFC Virtual on Ordre program, which launched last May in collaboration with the Australian Fashion Council, to help designers sell their collections after AAFW’s resort 2021 showcase was canceled: Ordre is offering more than 20 AAFW designers their own virtual showrooms. IMG will promote the showrooms through the event’s website and social channels as well as its business-to-business database, in a bid to facilitate engagement with international buyers, none of whom can physically attend the event this year due to Australia’s borders still being closed.
Just as IMG waived participation costs for designers this year, Ordre is also underwriting all costs for AAFW designers showing on its platform. The AAFW showrooms will promote 10 key looks from each designer’s collection, shot with Ordre’s new Orb360º Video technology — an extension of the company’s original Orb360º Images tech.
Ordre will promote the AAFW virtual showrooms to its 3,000-strong global network of retail organizations — and notably, a core of 300 international retailers from 28 countries that Ordre has identified as having a particular interest in Australian fashion. They include Net-a-porter, Shinsegae International, Intermix, MyTheresa and Joyce Boutiques.

Over the past year, Ordre has been involved with London and Milan fashion weeks, however the AAFW tie-in will be the company’s most coordinated partnership with an event organizer to date according to Lock.
“The other major fashion weeks in London, Paris, Milan and New York have obviously done a lot to livestream the content they’ve done with designers, but they’ve had very little engagement to drive buyer traffic back to virtual showrooms. And I think that’s what marks this project out from the others, in that it’s integrated,” said Lock.
He added, “Fashion weeks are becoming more multifaceted than they once were and I think that’s extremely important and I’m really proud to see the way that Australian Fashion Week has morphed for its 25th edition.”

EXCLUSIVE: IMG Partners With First Nations Fashion and Design for Australian Fashion Week

EXCLUSIVE: IMG Partners With First Nations Fashion and Design for Australian Fashion Week

SYDNEY — IMG will partner with First Nations Fashion and Design, a national voice representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander designers, to support Indigenous Australian creative talent in a series of initiatives at the upcoming Afterpay Australian Fashion Week, whose resort 2022 collections showcase will run from May 31 to June 4 at Sydney’s Carriageworks venue.
WWD can reveal that FNFD will open the event on the morning of May 31 with a Welcome to Country presentation, which will include a traditional smoking ceremony, along with dance, art and fashion elements.
On June 2, FNFD will then present an Indigenous runway showcase featuring the work of eight designers, including Amber Days by Corina Muir; Aarli by Teagan Cowlishaw; Clair Helen; Ngarru Miimi by Lillardia Allirra Briggs-Houston; Keema Co. by Nickeema Williams; Nungala Creative by Jessica Johnson; Sown in Time by Lynelle Flinders, and artist Grace Lillian Lee, who is also the founder and director of the First Nations Fashion and Design Indigenous Corporation.

From May 31 through June 2, FNFD will also operate a dedicated space within AAFW’s on-site showroom facility The Suites, which will serve as a backdrop for featured Indigenous designers to meet with buyers and media.
Additionally, on June 3, Lee will host a panel discussion exploring the continued growth and industry support of Indigenous Australian models and designers as part of the AAFW: The Talks program.

“We are committed to playing an active role in the advancement of Indigenous Australian designers and leveraging our resources to amplify their voices in the Australian fashion industry and around the globe,” said Natalie Xenita, executive director of IMG’s fashion events group, Asia Pacific region.
“Our country has inspired the Australian fashion and design industry for over 200 years,” Lee said. “Our practices and native landscapes have served as a great source of inspiration. Our people and our land continue to contribute to the growth and development of this nation. We aim to rewrite history by reclaiming our narrative of connection to country through fashion and design. Indigenous fashion is the future of the Australian fashion industry, and what an honor to be featured as the first Indigenous runway show at AAFW’s 25th anniversary, amplifying Indigenous voices for the next generation and chapter in AAFW history.”
IMG’s The Suites will not be FNFD’s only showroom option at the event.
Under a separate partnership with the online showroom, within hours of FNFD’s June 2 AAFW show, the collections of all eight featured FNFD designers will be available for view on, potentially increasing the designers’ visibility to international retailers — none of whom will be flying to Sydney this year, due to ongoing travel restrictions.
According to cofounder and chief executive officer Simon Lock, Ordre’s virtual resort 2021 showroom collaboration with the Australian Fashion Council last year led to direct engagement with 400 of Ordre’s 3,000-strong network of global retail organizations, including Galeries Lafayette, Shinsegae, Intermix, Joyce Boutiques, Net-a-porter and, and generated several million dollars in wholesale orders. The AFC collaboration commenced last May, when the canceled 2020 edition of Australian Fashion Week would have taken place, and showcased the collections of 25 designers.

“Right now, retailers have limited options to attend physical fashion weeks and to attend physical showrooms, so virtual showrooms are proving a great channel to discover new talent,” Lock said. “We’ve seen increased engagement with our global retail network particularly when it comes to reviewing new season collections for new emerging designers.”
Since Australian Fashion Week’s inception in 1996, there has been little Indigenous representation, with only one or two Indigenous brands such as Kooey Swimwear and Desert Designs having previously shown on schedule.
Its profile boosted by the establishment of the short-lived Australian Indigenous Fashion Week in Sydney in 2014, however — which collapsed under debts of 343,000 Australian dollars several months later and was never repeated — the Indigenous fashion sector has since witnessed significant development, with popular fashion shows now key components of Indigenous art showcases such as the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair and the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair.
The past 18 months have seen the launch of FNFD and the latter’s First Nations Fashion Council, as well as the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation’s Indigenous Fashion Projects initiative, which last year staged the first National Indigenous Fashion Awards and also unveiled an Indigenous fashion incubator program with the David Jones department store chain.
Neither IMG nor Indigenous Fashion Projects responded to questions about a separate Indigenous fashion showcase that WWD understands IFP is planning to stage at AAFW on June 3, showcasing an additional five designers, including Maara Collective and Ngali.
Headed by former Australian Fashion Council CEO David Giles-Kaye, Indigenous Fashion Projects had originally been due to stage a multibrand show at Australian Fashion Week in 2020, but it was shelved when the event was canceled due to COVID-19.

Color of Change, Joan Smalls, IMG and the Black in Fashion Council Launch #ChangeFashion

Color of Change, Joan Smalls, IMG and the Black in Fashion Council Launch #ChangeFashion

#ChangeFashion, an initiative focused on fighting racism and long-standing systemic issues in the fashion industry, has been established by Color of Change, Joan Smalls, IMG and the Black in Fashion Council.
The initiative invites companies to take responsibility for their impact on the world and provides steps to ensure the industry is working toward racial justice rather than against it.
#ChangeFashion marks the third iteration of a multi-industry racial justice accountability franchise from Color of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. The first was the #ChangeHollywood initiative that Color of Change released with Michael B. Jordan in partnership with WME and Endeavor Content, sister companies to IMG. The second, #ChangeMusic, is being executed with the Recording Academy.

The partnership combines IMG, Black in Fashion Council and Small’s understanding of the industry with Color of Change’s racial justice and corporate accountability expertise. Together, they have created an industry-specific road map that speaks to the racial injustice within fashion. The road map’s key recommendations are to champion representation of Black individuals in the industry; develop inclusive content for creative consumption and marketing; create an equitable workplace; engage more openly and effectively with Black communities, and invest in Black safety by reassessing relationships with police and security within the industry.

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“The #ChangeFashion road map is the resource we’ve been needing, for both my industry peers and the brands and executives we collaborate with,” said Smalls, IMG model, activist and founder of “We have to start putting actions behind our words. We cannot sit back and hope that change will come, we must be the force that makes it happen. Making changes can be difficult but the purpose behind the #ChangeFashion road map is that no one person or organization has to act alone. This resource will push the boundaries of what fashion is capable of, empowering all of us to be the force for good we desperately need.”
Among the road map’s recommendations:
• Divest from the police. The road map recommends that companies hire independent security services instead of using the police department for security in all instances wherever possible. It suggests, where possible, to use one’s voice to keep up the pressure on local governments to reduce spending on police and prisons, to adopt changes in the criminal  justice system and to shift investment to Black communities.
• Invest in Black representation and portrayals to elevate Black creatives, models and behind-the-scenes talent. One recommendation is to advocate for hiring cultural consultants and partner with issue experts to help ensure authentic portrayals of Black people. In addition, they recommend advocating for creating a dedicated budget for producing and marketing content representing a range of authentic Black stories, while ensuring there are multiple senior-level Black executives with decision-making authority.
• Develop Black talent and careers, and advocate for funding anti-racist training, independent racial justice audits of workplace culture, and the adoption of pay equity and anti-racist workplace policies and practices. Other recommendations are to disclose information about staff diversity, establish proactive recruitment, support, retention and training measures for Black people at all levels, including LGBTQ Black people within companies, and increase the number of Black people in leadership.

• Engage with Black communities in the cities in which companies operate and support Black businesses. The road map suggests contracting with Black-owned and Black-led businesses, especially in sectors that have traditionally excluded Black people, and encourage the organizations with which one works to maintain a roster of black businesses for connecting services. They also recommend partnering with brands that are in alignment with anti-racist social justice values, and to commit to supporting programs and community initiatives that elevate, support and empower Black communities.
The #ChangeFashion road map.  courtesy

Sandrine Charles and Lindsay Peoples Wagner, cofounders of Black in Fashion Council, said in a statement, “Black in Fashion Council is excited to partner with the #ChangeFashion initiative and expand on the ultimate goal of bringing radical change and inclusivity to the industry we care about most. Developing and sharing best practices and specific accountability guidelines is integral to creating the ecosystem that will enable all of us to thrive. In an industry rooted in collaboration and connection, joining forces is the only true path forward for racial justice in fashion.”
“We are proud to deepen our partnerships with Color of Change, the Black in Fashion Council, and Joan Smalls,  lending our network and resources to support substantive change and lasting reform in fashion,” said Ivan Bart, president of IMG Models and Fashion. “Meaningful change requites commitment from every corner of our industry, and we are committed to doing our part to foster racial equity and inclusion.”
Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change, said, “Fighting racism can’t just be the trend of the season. And there are two fronts to the fight: ending the long-standing discrimination and mistreatment of Black creators and other professionals working across the industry and ending the long-standing pattern of misrepresenting Black bodies and diminishing Black lives, which perpetuates the dehumanization of Black people in society at large. The fashion industry has an important role to play in dismantling structural racism, and Color of Change is proud to work in partnership with any organization that is serious about doing what it takes to drive real change.”
Rashad Robinson  courtesy shot.

Asked whether he believes the road map will motivate fashion brands to take action, Robinson said, “What we’ve learned across the industries is that you have to take people up on public commitments and then you have to move those public commitments into road maps for action. And then you have to create enough transparency and visibility that you engage consumers and employees, and you build a sense of reward and consequence for a movement.”
“We know we’ll get a lot of statements across many industries of intentions,” said Robinson. “Some of them will be well meaning and some of them will be of the moment to prevent backlash or to stay out of harm’s way. Part of what we’re trying to do here is recognize that if we don’t put some infrastructure around this and put some contours behind this, we will have allowed a bunch of people to make statements that they weren’t willing to wrestle with.”
“In no way do we think a road map means that we’ve gotten to some destination. But without a road map there is no destination to get to,” said Robinson.
Smalls, one of the most sought-after fashion models in the industry, was asked how she plans to get the brands to actually do something.
“I think it’s about continuing to apply pressure. I think sometimes they feel if they’re inclusive one season, it’s enough. I think it’s always important that the change comes from within the company, not just the visuals or the narrative that the rest of the world is seeing. That’s where true change comes,” she told WWD.
Asked whether brands should be required to be more inclusive when they cast projects, she said, “I don’t think it comes from a place where you should force people to do good, but it’s a reminder that they should. Sometimes people feel that their hand is being forced, but if it’s not at the forefront of your mind and your company, and you don’t know these decisions can influence a generation, then why not do it?”
She said it’s important to ask these brands why they have a lack of diversity, are they putting in an effort, and are they open to it. She feels many brands are doing a better job in the visuals with more people of color, more inclusivity when it comes to age and race and their campaigns are more representative of their consumer. However, she said, “A lot of times, fashion tends to give this narration of what beauty is and sometimes they can be a bit narrow-minded.”
When asked if she feels modeling agencies are doing a good job bringing more diverse models onto their rosters, she said, “I think it’s supply and demand. Often they didn’t feel the need to represent Black girls, or Hispanics or Asians if the market wasn’t wanting it. So therefore they didn’t care to have these girls, or you’re just wasting space and energy and you’re not booking anything. I feel that now, because brands are requiring more diversity, there’s more room for that.
“You need to look within the agencies and see how many people of color do we have? I can tell you for the most part, I can count them on one hand,” she said. She said a lot of the change has to come from hiring more diverse people who work in the agencies.
“The fashion industry tends to be elitist and it’s hard to break through because it’s based on relationships,” said Smalls. “A lot of the time, they just continue to nurture those relationships, so there’s no room for new talent. When it comes to hair, makeup, styling, it’s just like a clique that continues going from one place to another. Sometimes even with me, when I try to push someone I work with, who’s a person of color, there’s a push-back because either the photographer or stylist has never worked with them, and they want to work with the people whom they trust. I understand because you have that comfort and rapport from working with someone but at the same time, OK, give me the opportunity because if I’m vouching for them it’s because I’ve worked with them, and I have a good eye of what talent is,” said Smalls.
Smalls believes there’s a lot more work to be done in the way Blacks are portrayed in fashion advertising. “I love the inclusivity and they’re giving more opportunities not only because of their skin color, but the way they look. I think there’s more openness for that and I think that’s great. A lot of the times where I think they’re missing the mark is they’re not being portrayed at their best. With certain images, I haven’t felt that people of color have been highlighted to their full potential of their beauty or given the same…it’s almost like ‘this is how we see you’ and it’s almost a watered-down version to what they usually do to people who aren’t Black. Black people, they strip them away and it’s more simple. Even the lighting. This is the one thing that has been irking me the most is the lighting has been so awful. Not only don’t their features look good, but their skin color looks dull. And I find that highly offensive,” said Smalls.
Overall, she said, brands should be held accountable.
Asked whether her situation has gotten better over the years, she said, “My career has been different. It comes in waves. One thing I’ve always been grateful for is having the opportunities a lot of women didn’t have when I was coming up. Sometimes there was just one or two of us and a lot of time I was the token. I’m flattered and grateful people saw me for more than just the skin complexion and were champions of me.
“It takes a lot of sacrifice and dedication and tears at the same time — trying to push forward to make sure you’re valued the same way,” she said.
Highly philanthropic, last year Smalls launched, a project that furthers her support for Black Lives Matter organizations. In June, Smalls committed to donating 50 percent of her salary for the remainder of 2020 to organizations advancing racial equality and justice.
“I will still devote to causes that speak to me, and need more attention and need resources,” she said.

IMG and the Black in Fashion Council Strengthen Their Alliance
Joan Smalls Launches Online Donation Platform, Donate My Wage
When It Comes to Diversity in Fashion, There’s  Lots of Work to Be Done

LaQuan Smith and BMW USA Gear Up for Content Series During NYFW

LaQuan Smith and BMW USA Gear Up for Content Series During NYFW

New York designer LaQuan Smith is collaborating with BMW USA, IMG’s official automotive partner of New York Fashion Week this season.
BMW has developed a custom content series with Smith, highlighting the intersection of design, craftsmanship and style in both fashion and automobiles. The collaboration illustrates how Smith and his team innovated, inspired and persevered during the past year. Throughout the series are Smith’s fashion sketches juxtaposed with BMW X5 and X7 design sketches, which are collaged together with photos of Smith and the cars. These will be distributed digitally on social platforms.
Smith, who is known for his sexy, come-hither designs worn by the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Beyonce, Lady Gaga and the Kardashian-Jenner clan, explained how he came together with BMW, which for the last three seasons has worked with NYFW: The Shows talent, helping them tell their stories and increase their visibility.

“The way that it we came together felt very organic,” said Smith. “It was just me representing the brand and us having aesthetics that match each other. When you think of pushing the culture forward and when you think of a level of creativity and being a visionary, and the space of fashion and automobiles, to me it felt organic.”
Asked whether he’s a BMW driver, he said, “I’d like to be, that’s what I’m hoping for in the year of 2021.”

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LaQuan Smith and BMW X7 M50i. 

Although Smith said he didn’t get involved in the cars’ designs, he enjoyed posing with them. “The level of confidence I had when I was posing inside the car and outside the car, and even walking alongside the cars, it was really insane. If felt like these are automobiles that I can be utilizing throughout my day to day and fabulous trips over the weekend. I wasn’t part of the design process of the cars, but it definitely felt super organic to my swag and my personality.”
During NYFW, the collaboration will highlight who Smith is as a New York native designer and what it means to persevere through such a difficult time in the industry, along with the craftsmanship and style of the automobiles. Smith is scheduled to launch his collection March 9.
In discussing his fall 2021 collection, Smith said, “I really think this is a year just reinforcing empowerment and feeling strong and feeling confident and I’m working with a lot of beautiful…” He then cut himself off, not wanting to given anything away.
“LaQuan Smith has always been about a celebration of a woman’s body. To wear LaQuan Smith is an experience and it truly is as celebration. I’m just reinforcing that concept and making sure my voice is heard as a designer and also in the women’s wear space, and wanting to redefine the idea of what it feels to be unapologetically glamorous,” he added.
Smith has been in business 12 years. For fall, he said he’s inspired by things he’s done. “For me it wasn’t about reinventing the wheel, but reinforcing what I’ve already created. [Last year] was in itself a bit of inspiration, being able to see the expansion and growth of my business and my company even in the middle of a pandemic, that was inspiring. It was inspiring to see women take a piece of LaQuan Smith and incorporate it in their daily lives.”

He said the fall 2021 collection will be a celebration of all things “fabulous, glamorous and sexy.”
Describing the pandemic, he said, “It was a crazy year for sure. I’m very thankful. We did not get shut down. My company has expanded and has grown tremendously. My orders were not dropped from the retailers. That was bittersweet. I’m looking at so many companies go out of business. Being a designer in New York, it was sad to see so many companies go out of business. But I have orders to fulfill, I have things to do, I have deadlines. While the business was booming and things were moving, I had to find new ways and new strategies of juggling the success of the company and also the downfall of the Garment District.
“I have a great team behind me,” he added. “These women [customers] are out there. Whether they’re wearing LaQuan Smith in their backyard, it’s fascinating to see. It really proves that people are ready to get back out there. There will always be a call for celebration, whether it’s a birthday or someone’s getting married, or even just dressing up for your man intimately at home because you’re going to have a date night. But the point is, women want to still dress up and still want to look good. There are still reasons to feel good again. That is my synopsis of 2020. I wanted to be able to turn things around, and find some hope.”
Smith’s designs are carried by stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Forward by Elyse Walker, The Webster and Revolve. He also has an e-commerce business at, which he said is doing “pretty well.”
He said two years ago he wasn’t selling at any of these retailers. “It’s nice to see the demand for my clothes, and me, being able to carve out in the women’s wear market, and bring sexy back again. I’m down for athleisurewear  and sportswear for being comfortable, but there’s a market for women who want to look unapologetically beautiful and I’m happy to be able to cater to that market and really stand my truth as a designer as far as creating beautiful, timeless pieces you can feel amazing in.”
LaQuan Smith and the BMW X7 M50i. 

And speaking of timeless, does he feel that relates to BMW?
“Absolutely, when you think of BMW, it’s timeless and traditional. With BMW creating all these new new, powerful, more modern cars, it’s the same aesthetic with design. It’s remaining true to who you are as a brand and coming up with new concepts to find exciting things in life. What’s more fabulous than a gorgeous automobile and a LaQuan Smith dress?” he said.
Asked how he’s been able to dress celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez, he replied, “I think the celebrity factor is something that happened organically over time. I have a great team and everyone does their due diligence when it’s award season and such. More importantly, they just so happen to be pop stars and celebrities, they want something of quality and is exclusive and is so sexy. I’m happy to be just even a thought. There’s been so many opportunities on the table that I did not make Just even being considered for a project is enough for me. Over time, when these women are putting on the clothes and are seeing the reactions they’re getting from men, from women and their peers, it’s inspiring. It’s that ‘it’ factor that people are coming to me for. They’re coming to me for something that’s not only exclusive and very well made, but it’s also like, ‘you are the star.’ To wear my clothes makes you a star, whether you’re a star or not. That’s the power of wearing LaQuan. You walk into a room and it’s all eyes on you.”

IMG Releases Final Schedule for NYFW: The Shows

IMG Releases Final Schedule for NYFW: The Shows

IMG has released the final schedule of events and programming for New York Fashion Week: The Shows, the official central hub of NYFW. The event takes place Feb. 14 to 18.
NYFW: The Shows is produced  by IMG Focus live at Spring Studios and virtually at
The lineup includes livestream fashion shows, presentations, virtual content and cultural programming. Through its continued partnership with the Black in Fashion Council, IMG will expand its support of Black fashion talent through programming and showrooms in both New York and Los Angeles this season, as reported in WWD Tuesday.
IMG has 107 designers from 14 countries participating.
Among first-time participants are Aarmy, Chaance (a South Korean streetwear line by Spyder), Colin Locascio, Frederick Anderson, Loring New York, Maison Asia (a faux-fur label by Gilles Mendel’s daughter Chloe Mendel), Maison Kitsuné, Marrisa Wilson, Nicole Benefield Portfolio, PizzaSlime, Sincerely Ria (by Mariama Diallo), Studio Amelia, Theo, Tombogo and Victor de Souza.

Returning designers taking part in some form include Jason Wu, Veronica Beard, Alice + Olivia, Markarian, Tadashi Shoji, Badgley Mischka, Anna Sui, Monse, Adeam, Victor Glemaud, Rodarte, Anna Sui, Tanya Taylor, Anne Klein, Dennis Basso, Cinq à Sept, Jonathan Simkhai, Bibhu Mohapatra, Nicole Miller, Rebecca Minkoff and Christian Cowan. Many of them are also on the CFDA’s  “American Collections” schedule. 

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Wu and  Minkoff are the only live events with socially distanced audiences, as well as the Black in Fashion Council Discovery Showrooms, which are by appointment.
This season, IMG will launch The Drops, offering daily limited-edition product drops with accompanying digital content from brands including Jason Wu, Radarte x Virgil Normal, Prabal Gurung, LaQuan Smith and Aarmy, available to view exclusively on
Returning this season is IMG’s ongoing NYFW:BTS series. Among the special events are:
• Well Suited: NYFW: The Shows will launch a podcast hosted by fashion sisters Harper’s Bazaar digital director Nikki Ogunnaike and journalist Lola Ogunnaike. The podcast’s guests will include playwright Jeremy O’Harris; entrepreneur, lawyer and author Meena Harris; actor Cynthia Erivo, and chess champion and comedian Elsa Majimbo.
• NYFW: In Session: IMG’s new series of courses will feature a three-part beauty series with artist Karan Franjola for Jason Wu with Jason Wu Beauty, The Wall Group artist Romy Soleimani for Ulla Johnson with Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, and The Wall Group artist Jezz Hill with TooD Beauty.
• Aarmy Bootcamp and Aarmy Inspiration Practices: Aarmy cofounder Akin Akman will begin NYFW with a virtual bootcamp on Feb. 14, while cofounder Angela Manuel-Davis and The Wall Group stylist Karla Welch will close the season with a mental health conditioning session on Feb. 18.
• Maison Kitsune spring 2021: The company will stream a fashion week set with IMG model and DJ Mona Matsuoka.
NYFW: The Talks will feature a series of including Proenza Schouler, LaQuan Smith, Prabal Gurung and Rodarte, plus guests such as artist Kehinde Wiley, as well as Charlie Staunton and Shirley Kurata, founders of Virgil Normal.

On Feb. 15, Markarian designer Alexandra O’Neill and designer Sergio Hudson will talk about the biggest moments of Inauguration Day in a conversation with  journalist Tamron Hall. In addition, there will be a conversation Feb. 18 about the Beauty of Inclusivity, presented by fashion director Rajni Jacques alongside Oui the People founder Karen Young and designer, model and activist Mariama Diallo moderated by Visa’s senior vice president, head of North America marketing Mary Ann Reilly about supporting the Black, women-owned, small business community and recognizing diversity and inclusion in the beauty space.
There will also be a Black in Fashion Council Town Hall, where Lindsay Peoples Wagner, editor in chief of The Cut, and Sandrine Charles, cofounder of Black in Fashion Council, will lead a series of three town halls introducing to the NYFW community the season’s participating designers from both the New York and Los Angeles Black in Fashion Council Discover Showrooms.
NYFW: The Shows will feature Lizzy Savage as its artist in residence for the season. Savage’s hand-placed @heartsny street art will decorate the exterior of Spring Studios.
As reported, IMG will bring its editorial content to the TikTok community as the official editorial partner of TikTok Fashion Month. TikTok will feature live and taped content from across the IMG network distributed through its TikTok channels, @FashionWeek, @NYFW and @Made throughout the month of fall 2021 global fashion week.
NYFW: The Shows is presented by lead partners BMW of North America, Visa, TRESemmé and Perrier, with special projects partners The Coca-Cola Co., Ziploc Brand and TikTok, and official media partner E!.

EXCLUSIVE:  “American Collections Calendar”  Reveals Fall 2021 Lineup
IMG Fashion Named Official Editorial Partner of TikTok Fashion Month
IMG and the Black in Fashion Council Strengthen Their Alliance

New York Fashion Week Will Be a Mostly Digital Event

New York Fashion Week Will Be a Mostly Digital Event

With New York Fashion Week around the corner, IMG, which owns NYFW: The Shows, and the Council of Fashion Designers of America are looking at a mostly digital event, with some exceptions.
Spring Studios will once again be the central location of activity for New York Fashion Week: The Shows, which takes place Feb. 14 through 18, with being the official online hub for all digital activity that is available to the industry and consumers.
This season, IMG will reveal a selection of curators for its biannual NYFW: BTS programming, which will be disclosed later this month. IMG plans to support designers with opportunities such as live-to-tape runway shows, content and look book shoots, panel discussions, talks, social activations and e-commerce. is free and available to view the programming, including fashion shows, panel discussions, talks and other events.

As reported, IMG was named official editorial partner of TikTok Fashion Month and will be providing content from the fashion weeks in New York, Milan, Paris and London to #TikTokFashionMonth.
“IMG remains committed to this February season in providing infrastructure, resources and innovations to help the New York fashion industry navigate safely through this intensely challenging time — keeping businesses operating and people working are critical to the survival of many brands,” said Leslie Russo, president of IMG’s fashion events and properties. “We are still in the middle of a global crisis, but feel it is important to come together as an industry to find new ways to reimagine and rebuild both now and for the future.”

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She said several designers are still deciding which formats work best for them, “but it’s great to see all kinds of ingenuity around debuting collections within the guidelines they have to work with.”
Leslie Russo  courtesy shot.

Jason Wu is having a socially distanced show with a limited, by-appointment audience that is being produced by IMG Focus, IMG’s in-house production arm. Wu’s show will be livestreamed on The show takes place Feb. 14 at 5 p.m. (Wu is also on CFDA’s Runway360 and the official calendar.) Wu held an in-person show at the Spring Studios’ rooftop last September. He created a green oasis, courtesy of his show sponsor, Lowe’s, with a small, socially distanced audience.
“I am thankful to be working with IMG again for the second season and collaborating with their incredible team to navigate this challenging time. Despite this uncertain moment for everyone, I’m proud of the creative ways we are continuing to help the industry, not only for my business, but all of those that work in fashion in our amazing city,” said Wu.
Steven Kolb, chief executive officer of the CFDA, the owner of the official NYFW Fashion Calendar and schedule, is looking at nearly a complete virtual fashion week, which takes place Feb. 14 to 17.
“We were very encouraged by the incredibly positive response from the industry following the launch of Runway360 last September. As we now approach the second New York Fashion Week since the COVID-19 measures were enforced statewide, there are glimmers of hope with the rollout of the vaccines,” said Kolb. That said, he noted that the U.S. is still very much facing the height of the pandemic, and based on the designers the CFDA has been in touch with, the only in-person show he’s aware of is Wu. He believes everyone else is doing virtual.

“Given this, we look forward to Runway360’s continued growth next month and are excited to see how brands will creatively showcase their new collections using this important business tool that allows them to connect with retailers, buyers, consumers, as well as domestic and international press,” added Kolb.
Last September, the CFDA launched Runway360, a digital platform that serves as a centralized hub and business tool for the U.S. fashion community. The platform enables designers to connect directly to industry stakeholders and consumers. The portal incorporates key aspects of the designer’s business from fashion shows to press, sales and consumer activations in order to drive sales and showcase American fashion creativity.
“Whether designers show during the official NYFW dates or at another time that better sits with their business, the CFDA continues to be committed to supporting those who choose to do digital activations through Runway360,” said Kolb. “Barring any unforeseen challenges, we anticipate a return to physical shows in September, and our designers are already expressing interest in showing during NYFW then.”

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Jason Wu RTW Spring 2021

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