New York Fashion Week feels the credit crunch

New York scales back fashion week

Change is in the air at New York Fashion Week this season, with signs that the recession has well and truly hit the style industry.

In an attempt to cope with the current financial situation, designers are scaling back their shows, ditching their annual after-parties, and focusing on a more low-key approach to presenting their autumn/winter ’09 collections.

For Vera Wang and Betsey Johnson, this has meant ditching their shows entirely, and instead conducting intimate presentations.

Not even NY’s golden boy, Marc Jacobs is unaffected. He’s cut his usual 2000 guest list down to a paltry 700, and will forgo his after-party, all in the name of the recession.  

Speaking to WWD, Robert Duffy, president of Marc Jacobs International commented this month, ‘This isn’t the time to spend money to entertain the entire world.’

And Jacobs isn’t the only one to be losing his swanky bash. Calvin Klein and Zac Posen have cancelled theirs, both of which were as firm fixtures on the schedule as their catwalk shows.

The biggest shift can perhaps be seen at Halston, where there will be no catwalk show, or even presentation, with editors instead set to receive a video, sent straight to their inboxes, showcasing the label’s new season.

And though the label has argued that the revolutionary new concept is not driven purely by financial factors, Halston board member Tamara Mellon told WWD that it was naturally a consideration.

‘Everything is so fast now… By the time it’s in stores, they have seen the next season,’ Mellon described. ‘We thought this is another way forward. Particularly now, with the economic climate, a lot of people’s budgets will be cut and many won’t be traveling to see the shows, and this is a way to be inclusive.’

Could this be the end of the catwalk show? With the credit crunch in full swing, expect to see dramatic changes to fashion’s most extravagant month of the year.

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