By: Emily Safier  | 

Models and Marketing

First it was known as “Press Week”, then it was “Press Week of New York,” until finally it became, as we all know it, “New York Fashion Week” (NYFW). This event that is full of novel outfits, strutting models and flashing paparazzi cameras began from the vision of fashion icon Eleanor Lambert. During World War II, when the war prevented travel to Paris — the location of nearly all fashion shows at that time — Lambert saw that designers would not be able to showcase their creations. In response, she decided to host the show in New York City, where it has remained ever since. This gave American designers global recognition and benefited the economy so significantly, it is said that the success of Lambert’s NYFW tangibly influenced U.S. GDP. 

New York Fashion Week is one of the four major fashion shows; the other three are  in London, Milan and Paris. NYFW attracts an impressive 200,000 attendees each season. It takes place every September and every February and lasts four to nine days. This year's show went from Feb. 11-16 and featured names like Tom Ford, Tory Burch and Coach. The main location is Spring Studios in NY; some shows are performed in smaller venues, which are less pricey. Due to COVID-19 and its associated travel restrictions, last year's fashion week was delayed, severely downsized, and featured few international designers. In 2022, NYFW was back on, though several labels such as Oscar De La Renta opted for a virtual show. Organizers mandated vaccines and masks to allow the show to go on. 

How does one go about getting tickets to the elite show? Shows are broken up into three categories: shows for those in the industry, shows open to the public and shows being displayed digitally. While most seats are reserved for the press, celebrities, and those in the fashion industry, anyone can purchase tickets for the latter two categories. The public can purchase tickets for anywhere between $50-$400. Hosting NYFW is an expensive endeavor. In-demand models can charge over $100,000, fashion show venues themselves can go for well over $60,000, additionally, lighting, sound, production, seating, catering and transportation can cost over $100,000. In discussing the fashion show's extensive costs, a Marc Jacobs spokesperson reported their show cost $1 million which is $1,750 per second for a show lasting under 10 minutes.”. That is certainly pricey for a single show and this season featured almost 100 fashion shows. As a result of these high prices, there's been much debate about whether NYFW should continue. Those arguing against NYFW, strengthen their argument by pointing out that brands can now gain exposure from Instagram and other platforms which essentially provide free targeted advertising. Because of the costly side of NYFW, investors are finding it difficult to see the ROI — return on investment — from this event. However, it can be argued that the event is important for many reasons. It gives brands exposure, shows the fashion world that their lines are active in the business, and it allows models and designers the opportunity to “show face”. Not to mention, NYFW, with its tourism, local job opportunities, and tax revenue, brings in approximately $900 million! There’s certainly much to consider when analyzing the finances of NYFW and discussing its future.

Photo Caption: A NYFW runway

Photo Credit: Unsplash