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3 of the biggest talking points from September 2023’s New York Fashion Week

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If you have been working with London Shopify Plus experts to help achieve sustained growth for your brand – or for that matter, if you merely aspire to do so – the chances are that you will still be taking more than a passing interest in the twice-yearly New York Fashion Week, or NYFW. 

NYFW is, after all, one of the “Big Four” international fashion weeks alongside Paris, London, and Milan. And let’s be honest: part of this prestige derives from the Manhattan event’s ability to constantly get new and important conversations going in the fashion world. 

With the latest NYFW: The Shows running from 8th to 13th September, the collection showcases this time around hadn’t ended at the time of us writing this article. However, enough had already occurred in “The Big Apple” – and hit the global headlines – to give us a strong sense of what has been discussed in particularly intense terms during this autumn’s edition of NYFW. 

So, we thought we would take you through several of them. 

Sustainability: what is and is not an attainable goal? 

For the American high-end brand Coach, the all-important spring-summer ’24 launch was made a bigger story by what threatened to upstage it – two female protestors from the animal rights organisation Peta, who briefly managed to share the catwalk with the models before security intervened. 

It was imagery made all the more memorable by the flesh-painted bodysuit worn by one of the intruders, and the placard carried by the other, asserting: “Coach: Leather Kills”. 

But how much scope do brands like Coach have to respond directly to the pleas of Peta, which stated in July that it was seeking to make the use of wool and leather as unacceptable as fur? 

Some observers argue: not very much, at least for now. For most high-end brands, leather goods play a profound role in their success, and such suggested alternatives as “pleather” being made from plastic and petroleum-based materials seems far from ideal. 

Still, Coach themselves indicated even prior to the show – in the seemingly improbable setting of the New York Public Library – that they were receptive of the need to continue the development of sustainable fashion at pace. 

As the brand’s creative director, Stuart Vevers, put it, the catwalk can serve as “a place to experiment with new concepts in sustainability.” 

A thoroughly star-studded NYFW, even by the usual standards 

With movie premieres and red carpets having been curtailed by the SAG-AFTRA strikes that commenced earlier in the summer, few observers were overly surprised by the latest New York Fashion Week’s ability to draw in the stars. 

In the words of Vogue’s Christian Allaire, “celebrities are taking over the front rows this week, clearly missing the opportunity to dress up and experiment with fashion.” 

From the very beginning of this fall’s NYFW, there were celebrations at which the “slebs” made themselves highly visible – such as the Harlem’s Fashion Row gala and catwalk where A$AP Rocky and Kelly Rowland appeared to accept awards for being style icons and trendsetters. 

Meanwhile, at Pier 17, a party hosted by J.Crew featured an unexpected performance by The Strokes, and appearances by actors Sadie Sink, Diane Keaton, and Jodie Turner-Smith. 

Gisele Bündchen cementing the pantless trend 

While we’re on the subject of bashes that big names couldn’t keep themselves away from, it is also worth noting the gathering at trendy downtown restaurant Jean’s on the night of Saturday 9th September, for which Sarah Hyland, Laura Harrier, and Justin Theroux were all present. 

The soirée was taking place in celebration of the Frame denim brand, and supermodel Gisele Bündchen didn’t miss the opportunity to bring a seemingly effortless, but high-impact look when she stopped by. 

Yes, we are – of course – referring to her statement take on the pantless aesthetic that has recently become a powerful fixture of celebrity street style. For Bündchen, this meant a confident combination of Frame’s XXL denim jacket – worn as if it was a dress – and some undeniably cool clog platforms. 

We’re struggling to disagree, though, with the sentiments of Vogue’s Allaire, that “if you really think about it, the trend is no less crazy than wearing a dress.” 

Hopefully, this autumn’s New York Fashion Week will have got you thinking – and creating – as intently as the effect it had on us here at Skywire London. For a more in-depth discussion of how our globally minded London Shopify Plus experts could help elevate your luxury, fashion, or lifestyle brand in all the finest ways over the months and years to come, please feel free to reach out to us


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