London - The fact that New York Fashion Week, set to bring in a total income of 540 million euros this season, generates the most money from all the global fashion weeks may not be a surprise to many fashion insiders. Afterall, it is the fashion week that opens the international tour of the four leading fashion weeks: New York, London, Milan and Paris.
However, although New York Fashion Week is followed by London Fashion Week, both in terms of show scheduling and total income generated, Paris and Milan Fashion Week fail to follow in suit. Even though these fashion weeks have the honour of hosting shows from formidable leading fashion houses such as Chanel, Fendi and Gucci - when it comes to the actual amount of money generated by the entire event, they fall behind other, lesser known fashion weeks. Outside of the big four fashion weeks, countless global fashion weeks take place around the globe, ranging from cities such as Amsterdam, Berlin and Copenhagen to Shanghai, Mumbai and Tel Aviv.
Which Global Fashion Weeks make more money than Paris or Milan Fashion Week?
Each of these fashion weeks has its own schedule full of both emerging and established catwalk designers, who share their upcoming collections with buyers and press each season. The only main difference between these fashion weeks and the big four is that the former fails to hold the international media's attention for long. But do not confuse lack of international press coverage with lack of talent or business carried out during these fashion weeks, as according to FashionUnited's calculations a number of these lesser-known fashion weeks generate more income each season than Paris or Milan.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Madrid ranks third for the most income generated by an international fashion week, following New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week. MBFW Madrid attracts 55,033 visitors on average per season, generating a total income of 104.5 million euros, which is not too shabby for a country which has yet to fully emerge from the recession. This upcoming Autumn/Winter 2017 event, set to run from February 17 to 21, will see a total of 43 Spanish and international designers presenting their collections on schedule - less than its counterparts in Milan or Paris. Yet the event still manages to generate more income. Why? The fashion week may be lacking the big names which host multi-million euro shows (we are looking at you Karl Lagerfeld), but rest assure those who do attend, attend MBFW Madrid for all the right reasons and not just to be photographed outside the Grand Palais in Paris. So even though Paris may still be ranked as the world’s leading fashion capital according to the Global Language Monitor, when it comes to the business of fashion week, other cities take the cake.
Tokyo has long-been as the main fashion capital of Japan, if not Asia, and its bi-annual fashion week, sponsored by Amazon, has been growing over the recent years. But it seems as Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo may soon be surpassed by Shanghai Fashion week, which has been steadily increasing its global visibility as China’s leading fashion capital. At the moment AFW Tokyo is set to generate a total income of 93 million euros, attracting 50,000 visitors. But Shanghai Fashion Week may soon surpass this, as the bi-annual event generates 90.5 million euros income. The increasing importance of these fashion weeks should come as no big surprise, as countries like China, Vietnam and India remain the industry’s biggest manufacturing hubs.
Although these countries have yet to reach the full potential of their local design talent, with many of them opting to study fashion abroad at an established fashion school in Europe or the United States, in the future this could change. As more fashion brands turn their focus to developing collections for the emerging middle classes in China and India, designers are more likely to remain working in their home market and carve out a name for themselves. So even though a young Chinese designer showing in Shanghai may not have their designs photographed on the cover of US Vogue, it does not mean they will not be able to achieve success within the fashion industry or make money.
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