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History in Fashion: New York Fashion Week

Twice a year –  New York’s streets overflow with models, buyers and fashion editors alike to survey the newest collections from big name designers and up-and-coming talents. With New York Fashion Week coming to an end this week, we were curious to learn a little more about it’s cultural history.

Quick History- The first ever New York Fashion Week was called, “Press Week” and was the first organized fashion week and was held in the year 1943. Fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert  organized the event to showcase American designers for fashion journalist and to draw attention away from French fashion shows. Press week became a huge success and fashion magazines like Vogue, which were normally filled with French designs, slowly began featuring American fashion.

Then in 1973, a very famous fashion show took place in Versailles, Italy and for the first time, American designers like Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass and Anne Klein got to show their fresh, young talent to a global audience. After that, the U.S. fashion industry was propelled onto a crowded stage of international designers, all competing to make their capital city, the fashion capital of the world. And while we definitely have Mr. de la Renta, Donna Karan and the showdown at Versailles to thank for our now-extraordinary style presence, it’s what came years later that has since kept America, New York in particular, one of the centers of innovative design.

The New York Fashion Week we know today, officially began in 1993 at Bryant Park. New York Fashion Week has fast become one of the most highly-anticipated fashion weeks in the world, aside from its major counterparts in Paris, London and Milan. Names like Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista were born off of the Big Apple’s runways.

Eventually the shows outgrew the iconic midtown grassy green tents, and moved to Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center in 2010. And although, there have been many changes to NYFW both in innovation and location – you can be sure that this dynamic and exhilarating event will continue to unfold like the beautiful designs it exhibits to the world.

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