This post has been updated.
The Spring 2018 season of New York Fashion Week begins Thursday, September 7 and runs until Wednesday, September 13. Yes, you read that correctly. The Council of Fashion Designers of America has shortened NYFW by one day, eliminating the second Thursday in the lineup. This will allow editors, bloggers and buyers a gap day between the New York and London shows. It’ll also help obscure the fact that, as Vogue’s Nicole Phelps put it, “New York has lost a good-size chunk of its new guard.”
Last season, two of New York’s “best regarded, most influential labels” — Proenza Schouler and Rodarte — swapped the Big Apple for the City of Lights. Others headed for sunny California. Ahead of the Spring 2018 season, more NYFW regulars have announced their imminent departure.
While the New York Fashion Week schedule changes have caused some concern over the current state of the American fashion industry, CFDA CEO Steven Kolb maintains there’s no cause for alarm (or tittering). “You have four brands that have decided to show in Paris for different reasons, at different times, and each one of them made that decision not because there was a problem with NYFW or something was wrong with NYFW, but there was an opportunity for them in Paris,” he told Fashionista.
“I think the holes — or the vacancies that are created by designers showing elsewhere — only open up opportunities for a new generation of talent to be nurtured and grown and supported,” Kolb continued. We can’t fault his optimism. And, to be fair, NYFW Spring 2018 will see the return of two seriously buzzy designers.
Allow us to elaborate. Scroll down for the complete list of designer comings and goings for Spring 2018.
Tommy Hilfiger moves to London
In May, Tommy Hilfiger and Gigi Hadid renewed their business contract, promising the world (at least) two more seasons of Tommy x Gigi. “Gigi is a force in the fashion industry and the ultimate Tommy Girl,” the designer told WWD. “Her positive, down-to-earth energy and cool, effortless style continue to captivate her audiences around the world. I have loved designing the Tommy x Gigi collections with her and I look forward to continuing our partnership for another year.” In early June, the duo announced the location of its much-anticipated Fall 2017 “see-now-buy-now” presentation. The show will take place in London on Tuesday, September 19 at 7 p.m. local time. Camden’s iconic Roundhouse concert venue will host the shopping extravaganza.
Thom Browne moves to Paris
“[Thom Browne] belongs in the Paris family,” Ralph Toledano the president of the Fédération Française de la Couture, du Prêt-à-Porter des Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode (in other words, the French version of the CFDA), told The New York Times. “He is about creativity, fabric, point of view.” Browne — a favorite of Solange Knowles and Michelle Obama — admitted that he feels “well, yes, a little” overlooked by his home industry. So, for the moment, he’s moved his shows to Paris.
Monique Lhuillier moves to Paris
Like her U.S. compatriots Rodarte and Proenza Schouler, Monique Lhuillier debuted her Spring 2018 ready-to-wear line during Paris Haute Couture Week. Like Altuzarra, Lhuillier considers Paris the dream. “From a creative perspective as a designer, and as a woman of French heritage, Paris is a city with which I have a deep familial connection. I have naturally chosen Paris as the backdrop for the brand’s first International show,” said Lhuillier in a statement. Lhuillier’s ostrich feather-heavy, hyper-feminine eveningwear walked the runway on July 3.
Altuzarra moves to Paris
Givenchy alum Joseph Altuzarra hails from Paris. It’s been a personal dream of his to show there. And that he will, from here on out. “I was born and raised in Paris, and the city holds a very deep personal significance for me,” wrote the designer in a July 12 release. “This has been a dream of mine since the very beginning, and now the time feels right. I am honored to be invited by La Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode to show in my hometown of Paris.”
Lacoste moves to Paris
Last February, Lacoste creative director Felipe Oliveira Baptista announced that the French brand’s 85th-anniversary show would take place in its native Paris. “After 13 years spent walking down the New York runways, Lacoste leaves the capital of sportswear to hold its fashion show in France. This event illustrates the brand’s desire to capitalize on its legacy and highlights the very nature of its DNA, namely, effortless French elegance,” trumpeted the press release. “It’s a homecoming, a bit of a change,” Baptista told WWD backstage at the label’s Fall 2017 show. “I will miss coming to New York.” It’s unclear whether the brand will reclaim its Saturday 10 a.m. slot after the birthday festivities have ended, although the words “I will miss” don’t inspire much hope.
Fenty x Puma returns to New York
On the bright side, RiRi’s back. Fenty x Puma is returning to New York — where the label made its debut in Fall 2016 — after two seasons showing in Paris. “After two successful seasons showing during Paris Fashion Week, Rihanna has decided to return to New York and show her Fenty Puma by Rihanna [Spring 2018] collection during NYFW, making this the first time she will present during September NYFW,” wrote the brand in a statement. Thus far, details are scarce. Expect an unconventional catwalk and lots of Insta-famous models.
Tom Ford returns to New York
After hosting a “see-now-buy-now” Fall 2017 dinner party/runway show hybrid and presenting his Spring 2016 collection by way of a dance party video, designer turned director Tom Ford will return to the traditional fashion calendar (bringing with him his historically lit front row). Ford will show his Spring 2018 collection on the opening day of New York Fashion Week at 7 p.m. EST. He’s also moving his women’s atelier to Los Angeles from London.
Ralph Lauren moves to Bedford, NY
While Ralph Lauren’s Spring 2018 show isn’t crossing any oceans, it is exiting New York City proper. The all-American designer will present his newest collection in his private garage, located in Bedford, N.Y. Home to various symbols of the “American Dream” — including his 1938 Bugatti Atlantic, 1996 McLaren F1 LM, 1929 Bentley Blower and assortment of vintage Ferraris — this will be the first time the space is used for a (semi-public) event. It’ll also be the first time that the designer shows the Ralph Lauren Purple Label menswear alongside his women’s collection. A private, upscale dinner will follow. All this will take place on September 12 at 7 p.m., leaving fans of chic, conservative clothing plenty of time to file back into their (for the most part) less impressive vehicles, head to Manhattan and rest up for Michael Kors’ 10 a.m. showing.
Narcisco Rodriguez moves to his showroom
Two-time CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year Narcisco Rodriguez, whose traditional Tuesday evening time slot directly conflicts with Ralph Lauren’s (auto) show, elected not to reschedule. Instead, he’ll hold one-on-one showroom appointments on September 6, NYFW’s official start date. According to WWD’s sources, there’s “no drama” between Rodriguez and Lauren. In truth, Rodriguez had entertained the idea for quite some time. Neither the new dad nor his “key retail accounts” are fans of nighttime shows. Plus, Rodriguez feels his artful, minimalist wares benefit from a close-up viewing.
We will continue to update this post as more information becomes available.