Call it a comeback, or at least New York’s fashion industry is hoping so. According to NYCEDC, the fashion industry employs 4.6 percent of the city’s private sector workforce. New York City has long been synonymous with fashion, from the history of the garment district to New York Fashion Week. With a second season of in-person Fashion Week back in effect, there is hope that this is a sign that New York’s fashion economy is recovering.
Is New York's fashion economy back?
With CFDA chairman Tom Ford opting not to show at New York Fashion Week due to supply chain issues thanks to COVID-19, it made many nervous. Although, all hope isn’t lost. Ralph Lauren recently announced that he would be showing in March. Alexander McQueen also said they will be hopping across the pond to do a womenswear show in New York City. Sure, New York’s fashion industry had a rough patch, like most industries did due to COVID-19, but if New York Fashion Week is any evidence, the fashion industry is on the rebound.
Markarian’s evening gowns worthy of an appearance on the fan who made them famous, First Lady Jill Biden, were nothing short of stellar. 39 looks were paired with Swarovski crystal minaudieres and clutches, and Markarian entered their first shoe collaboration with Maria Luca. With designers collaborating again, it’s a sign that people are buying. Collaborations are a promising sign of shoppers, as consumers continue to covet limited-edition products.
Bevza was classic with dresses in neutral colors, although it is a sign that the brand might be playing it a bit safe to appeal to more run-of-the-mill consumers. While the silhouettes were still elevated, the brand didn’t push beyond its comfort zone. However, their more conservative approach to design could bode well for sales. If they know that a customer is locked in, it’s best to keep that customer happy.
On the other hand, there was Duncan’s take on workwear, which gave the office girl just a flare of edge with sequin trims and ruched dresses. The fact that women are going to work again is a good sign, that means they will also be shopping, which will keep New York’s economy going around and around.
There was no greater sign that New York’s fashion economy was on the rebound than LaQuan Smith’s runway show. When actress Julia Fox opened the show, it set the energy for a show that was sexy, dynamic, and glamorous. It’s also a great moment for LaQuan Smith, who continues to pick up more retailers including Fwrd, Saks Fifth Avenue, Moda Operandi, and Farfetch. The designer’s star is burning, and the brand growth is evident through the success of his runway shows. He’s a New York success story, and we truly love to see it.
While New York’s economy is still recovering from COVID-19 after small businesses took a hit, hope is here. New York City’s fashion scene might have its moment of stumble, but it will never completely falter.