This New York Fashion Week S/S17: The sidewalk is the new catwalk

You might have noticed if you’ve had your eyes peeled to the NY Fashion week shows this season, that a new catwalk trend is emerging. Not the clothes or the accessories, they always evolve and produce innovative new trends, that’s expected and we look forward to it. No, this season we’re talking about a location change. Designers are ditching the traditional runways for the pavements in New York.

Yeezy Season 4 kicked it off at the start of fashion week with editors transported from the traditional NYFW venues (Milk Studios, the Piers, the galleries and 33rd street) to Roosevelt Island instead, and showcasing the collection in a park there. But he is Kanye and so unusual is to be expected.



It’s when we saw other NY designers embracing the sidewalk that we started to realise a trend was forming.

Rachel Comey on Day one also opted for the sidewalk as her catwalk:


CATWALK TREND: Rachel Comey collection on the sidewalk in NY

Rachel Comey’s S/S17



Followed by Rebecca Minkoff on Saturday, who held her runway in Soho, literally on the street in Greene Street.  Consumers could watch a livestream of the show and also shop the collection straight from the brand’s website (this season Rebecca followed the retail model of fellow designers Tom Ford and Tommy Hilfiger by showcasing her Fall 2016 collection so that it was immediately shoppable).

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Eckhaus Latta also opted for the sidewalk over the traditional catwalk, heading to the Lower East Side, and the Hester street Fair location to present the S/S17 collection.


Eckhaus Latta at Hester Street Fair in NY’s lower east side

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It’s an interesting move that the NY designers are ditching the traditional catwalks, though no completely unexpected. New York Fashion Week has been up in turmoil, location wise, ever since it moved from Lincoln Center in February last year and designers are increasingly opting for new and interesting locations. Also, the sidewalk has to be much cheaper than paying for a runway show at the key IMG locations (though imagine the paperwork and permissions!). Increasingly, brands and labels are looking to tell a story with their shows too, and the visuals and the set design playing a huge role in that, you only need to look at Tommy Hilfiger’s carnival at the Pier this NYFW, it was both incredibly Instagrammable and a significant part of the story of the collection.

Want more? Check out the most inspiring catwalk displays from London Fashion week here.

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