The End of NY
Fashion Week?

By: Benjamin Setiawan

The NYTimes published a piece yesterday entitled Is New York Fashion Week at the End of the Runway? This is certainly not a new subject matter. For years people have been talking about the commercialization and exhaustive pace of New York Fashion Week (NYFW). I find myself guilty of complaining about running around the city all day for 10 days straight with little sleep or even worse little to eat. But it’s only twice a year and every industry has their busy seasons. Some designers love to do previews before the shows start and re-sees after the shows are over. When all is said and done, one could potentially have seen a collection three times before it even goes into production and shipped to retailers months later.

Designers spend months developing a collection. All of that gets distilled into a 15 minute show or an hour long presentation. This is their opportunity to show their complete and unadulterated vision for the season. With all of the distractions that have come with NYFW, it’s easy to loose sight of the essence of what they’re doing. These artisans are premiering their work to the world. Each season and collection tells a story. Writers use words, filmmakers use images, these designers use clothing and accessories. It’s really a beautiful process that can get lost amidst all of the hoopla that happens as soon as the house lights come back on.

Some days can certainly feel like a grind trying to catch up with over a dozen shows, presentations and events to attend. But what makes it worthwhile is when you see a collection that somehow stands out from the sea of presentations that can admittedly feel lackluster. Those moments I like to think are examples of common grace. Whether it’s the construction of a sharply tailored jacket by Marissa Webb or the business model of KISUA which collaborates with and promotes African designers that would otherwise not have the support to grow their companies. I hope to be surprised more this fashion week and see glimpses of how God is at work in this industry and this city.