If you are a fashion lover or part of the fashion industry you have to stay tuned and give special attention to the best & most well-known fashion events around the world. From runways to trade shows, these events not only will keep you updated with what’s new in the industry but will also take you on an incredible journey.
Fashion designers, brands, or stylists are the fashion events’ organizers. They showcase their upcoming collection of clothing and/or accessories. Basically, we can see their newest works. They also give us a hint of what can we expect from the industry in the following time.
We know that fashion events offer us a full agenda throughout the year. But which are the most important in a way that you can’t miss them? Don’t worry, we’re gonna tell you the top 5 fashion events that you have to follow closely!
New York Fashion Week
New York Fashion Week takes place twice a year: in February and September, in our beloved New York City. The event is considered to be one of the four major fashion weeks in the world. It goes next to London, Milan, and Paris, also known as the “Big Four”– but don’t worry we will also talk about them in this post.
The world’s biggest fashion brands attend this event, such as Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Diane Von Furstenberg, Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger, Brooks Brothers, Alexander Wang, and many more.
NYC Fashion Week started in the early 1940s and was the pioneer of fashion events worldwide. Before the Second World War, Paris was the industry’s epicenter. Then the German occupation of France opened a vacuum that American designers rushed to fill. The Fashion Calendar appeared in 1945 to avoid clashing shows, and NYFW began to take the shape it holds today.
Up until the early 1990s, the event’s growth was so big that it spilled over. It turned out that staggering around from venue to venue was not the most efficient approach. Hence, the industry resorted to constructing two white tents in Bryant Park for most shows to take place. Fast-forward to today, when most occur in Tribeca’s Spring Studios, as well as off-site venues.
Throughout the years, NYC Fashion Week has been the site of change. It has seen the rise of celebrity-filled front-row seats, street style, and blogging. Additionally, it’s in NYFW’s agenda that our Fashinnovation Worldwide Talks sets foot. Since 2018, Fashinnovation has provided a space for fashion and technology leaders to gather, connect, and create solutions for the industry’s issues.
London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week is the youngest and the shortest of the Big Four. It lasts for 5 days and always happens right after NYFW.
Known to have a fearless and imaginative mood, the prestigious English fashion event started in 1983, with the creation of the British Fashion Council (BFC). The event’s rebellious roots, however, go further back. Mary Quant’s 1960s miniskirt, Vivienne Westwood’s subversive punk and Alexander McQueen’s dark imagination cemented such a reputation.
British fashion icons like Princess Diana, Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss helped make LFW the essential that it is today. Nowadays, the event highlights both established brands such as Burberry, as well as newer talents.
Paris Fashion Week
Paris Fashion Week is a bi-annual event that takes place in the romantic city of Paris, France. Set in February and September, it brings out the newest designs and works from some of the biggest brands in the world. Chanel, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Nina Ricci, Valentino, and many more.
The fashion event is famous for its refined craftsmanship and showcases collections from brands that work with the four seasons. February takes care of the Spring to Summer collections and September, of the Fall to Winter.
Though Paris Fashion Week officially premiered in 1973, the city’s fame as a fashion capital goes back to the early 20th century. At the time, Paul Poiret combined business and socializing through grand balls, where attendees were expected to dress to the nines. Later, in 1945, the Chamber Syndicale de la Haute Couture demanded that houses present at least 35 night and day looks each season. The French element of the Big Four was thus the first to showcase collections of Haute Couture, ready-to-wear, and menswear together.
Yet it wasn’t until the 1970s that the Fédération Française de la Couture came about, bringing the first PFW with it. Since then, the event has gained fame for its grandeur, with designers presenting their collections in increasingly lavish sets. Theatricality and refinement prevail, and Paris Fashion Week has come to inhabit a place in-between fantasy and reality.
Milan Fashion Week
The Italian side of the Big Four also happens twice a year. Milan Fashion Week is known for its sex appeal and extravaganza. The Spring/Summer Show Event is held in September or October and the Fall/Winter in February or March.
Inspired by Eleanor Lambert, Giovanni Battista Giorgini created Milan Fashion Week. It all began with a series of fashion shows at Palazzo Pitti, in Florence. Thanks to him, the fashion event gained international legitimacy. Yet Milan fought to establish itself as Italy’s sartorial capital. An industrial capital known for its manufacturing and talents the likes of Armani and Versace, Milan eventually outshone Florence. Thus, the shows moved to Milan and in 1976, the first Fashion Week took place.
Since then, MFW has been delivering glamour and shock to the masses. In the 90s, the event became the epicenter of the supermodel phenomenon, the effects of which still linger in the industry. Additionally, with designers such as Miucca Prada and Jeremy Scott for Moschino, Milan Fashion Week has established itself as the leader of both sartorial whimsy and sexual charm.
Tokyo Fashion Week
East Asian fashion is incredible, unique, and has been gaining – deservedly – more and more spotlight and success. Hosted by the Japan Fashion Week Organization, Tokyo Fashion Week show the best of Japanese street-style, luxury clothing, and trends.
Nevertheless, the event has had to face a very particular challenge for most of its existence. Until now, coverage of the event focuses on what happens on the street instead of on the runway. Such spotlight on street style stunts the growth of Japanese designers. Furthermore, Western commentators usually handle Tokyo urban fashion with a touch of Orientalism, upholding the trope of “wacky Japan.”
Still, TFW continues to increase in size and importance. The fashion event takes place bi-annual, held in March and October. It has seen impressive growth since 2005. Now, It is focused on becoming the fifth element on the Big Four. Creating then the “Big Five”.
Shanghai Fashion Week
Shanghai Fashion Week, just like the others we’ve talked about, takes place twice a year. As Vogue put it, the future of fashion shows is changing, and Shanghai is at the center of that. So, to know what we can expect of it in the future, you must take a close look at SFW.
It’s part of the Shanghai International Fashion Culture Festival, which usually lasts for an entire month.
The first edition of SFW took place in 2001. The Ministry of Commerce was the supporter of the event. Now, the Shanghai Municipal Government presents it. The event embraces business and culture in one single place.
CFDA Fashion Awards
The CFDA Fashion Awards are considered as the Oscars of Fashion. The fashion event organized by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. It takes place in the Big Apple and honors the excellence of fashion designs from America.
The first awards given by the Association were in 1984 with a Lifetime Achievement Award to stylist James Galanos. Subsequently, different award categories were defined and then standardized towards the end of the 1990s.
This year CFDA launched IMPACT, a new, multi-faceted initiative to create opportunities for historically underrepresented and unsupported communities in fashion.
The council stated that Black Lives Matter movement inspired the platform. This initiative takes action and creates sustainable change against the social and economic marginalization of Black people. IMPACT addresses the decades-long system of exclusion of Black talent in the industry. Their goal is to create a blueprint for other industries to follow.
The MET Gala is all about glamour, fashion, celebrities, and beautiful clothes on a red carpet. The iconic fashion event is also known as the Met Ball. It is an annual fundraising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, in NYC.
MET Gala’s first edition took place in 1948. Exclusively focused on raising funds for the museum, the event was significantly less public than it currently is. Then, in the 1970s, Infamous Vogue editor Diana Vreeland took it upon herself to innovate. Celebrities began to make it into the Met Ball’s guest list.
Nonetheless, big changes didn’t come until Anna Wintour took hold of the Met Gala in 1995. Named Vogue’s editor-in-chief in 1988, Wintour is responsible for fashion’s obsession with public figures. Celebrities began to appear in magazine covers more often than models did, and the Met Ball became a place of celebrity sight-seeing.
The event grew so much that now it’s one of the most expected fashion events in the world, placing fashion as contemporary art. The Met Gala has seen the appearance of iconic fashion moments such as Rihanna’s Guo Pei yellow gown and Kim Kardashian’s Mugler latex dress.
Pitti Immagine Uomo
Last but not least we have Pitti Immagine Uomo. Even though we are talking about it just at the end of this post, this Italian event is the one to open the fashion calendar with every year.
Pitti Uomo highlights men’s clothing and accessories collections from the best international designers twice a year. It’s the reference for buyers worldwide who want to ensure the Made in Italy quality.
This fashion event began back in the 1950s when Florentine artisan tailors began growing on the internal scene. Pitti Uomo was called First Italian High Fashion Show and was dedicated exclusively to women’s fashion.