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LA Fashion Week set to relaunch

By Kristopher Fraser


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Fashion |Interview

Image: LA Fashion Week

It’s back, bold, and beautiful. Los Angeles Fashion Week is set to return from October 6 to 9, but this time around it’s taken on a whole new life. N4XT Experiences recently acquired the event, and now calls Ciarra Pardo, the former CEO of Fenty Corp., their new president.

N4XT acquired LA Fashion Week in January of this year, inheriting the event’s April show. The former owners executed the April show, but the upcoming October show is produced by N4XT and Pardo.

LA Fashion Week relaunching on October 6

Pardo told FashionUnited she wanted to acquire LA Fashion Week because “LA is going through such an incredible renaissance. Seeing the change’s happening in LA post-COVID, my business partners and I thought LA Fashion Week would be great to acquire and see how we can reimagine it.”

The entrepreneur set out on a path to create a new playground for brands to show. The upcoming event is seasonless, leaving brands to showcase what they feel and not focus on seasonal drops and deliveries. LA Fashion Week also has the full support of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, America’s governing fashion body. This allows them to list their event on the American Collections Calendar for this upcoming season and seasons moving forward.

The first iteration of the event under N4XT will of course feature a traditional slate of runway shows, with the opening show for the season being Public School designer Maxwell Osborne’s new brand anOnlyChild. The brand will be joined on the schedule by Delta Runway Collection with Issa Rae, Fleur du Mal’s 10th-anniversary collection, Gypsy Sport, and Sami Miro Vintage + Levi’s.

Aside from the runway shows, programming at the event will also include immersive experiences, traditional runway shows, and presentations, curated pop-ups, panels, fireside chats, masterclasses, and activations in the beauty, health, and wellness landscape. Pardo wanted the four pillars of LA Fashion to encompass fashion, sustainability, beauty, and technology.

To build up LA Fashion Week, Pardo also moved the event to the Lighthouse Immersive, which is a major arts hub. Although LA is a major city for fashion, particularly due to its proximity to celebrity stylists and Hollywood, Pardo has made it clear she isn’t trying to become New York Fashion Week 2.0.

“I don’t wish to compete with the other Fashion Weeks,” she said to FashionUnited. “What New York, London, Milan, and Paris do they do exceptionally well. LA Fashion Week is relaunching, and we intend to continue to evolve, but we want to make our focus on the intersection of fashion and technology. We want LA Fashion Week to feel more like a festival than a traditional Fashion Week.”

She added that “We look at all those baby brands that come out of LA, that are not so little anymore. There’s so much talent in LA, and I am more than happy to collaborate with legacy designers in the future, but I want space for a lot of the emerging designers.”

Pardo said the City of Los Angeles has been supportive of the event, making space for it to take place in the city. Despite the support she’s received from the event, she says it was not without its troubles.

“In some ways, we are operating as a startup, even though LA Fashion Week has been around for years,” Pardo said to FashionUnited. “We have some of the startup challenges, like figuring out new ways to do things and how to adapt things. We worked very hard to create experiences and make them new experiences, which is amazing and new, but trying to realize many of those ideas was difficult at times, but it’s happening.”

As LA Fashion Week enters its new era, it looks poised for growth. Under N4XT, the event looks like it’s in good hands.

LA Fashion Week