No doubt, NYFW is a significant fashion event, where the best designers get to show their new ideas and garments, while new fashion trends can be “tried on” (so to speak). However, the monthlong fashion extravaganza known as “fashion month” actually begins in New York and finishes in Paris.
It’s a favorite pastime of fashionistas to compare New York Fashion Week with Paris Fashion Week, in order say which has the highest influence on fashion trends.
New York Fashion Week has the largest number of shows, and, on the whole, is a showcase for a more minimal American aesthetic. Paris, on the other hand, is home to some of the world’s largest and more storied brands, from Chanel to Dior to Saint Laurent … and way beyond.
New York was the first city to initiate a fashion week in 1943. And it’s definitely an important center of fashion today, as many designers choose New York as a launchpad for their new collections. And except for Paris, it attracts the most journalists and media attention.
During New York, media coverage is huge, and the brands presented are numerous. Celebrities from all over the world visit to get their picture snapped front row. New York Fashion Week is, simply put, a big marketplace, and event to be “seen” at.
Paris Fashion Week
Every fashionista’s dream is to visit Paris during fashion week, at least once in their lives. Paris still honors the traditional forms and Parisian haute couture sensibility, even in its ready to wear. This makes Paris the capital of fashion, where a buyer may find the finest garments, by the most important fashion designers and houses.
Paris paves the way for all the important deals. That’s why all serious media professionals and buyers visit it every year. The world’s fashion industry depends on Paris Fashion Week. Though it is the last event chronologically, there is no doubt that Paris still holds the key to fashion trade. Every respected buyer will come to Paris to take a look at new ideas and place orders from the most prestigious fashion designers.
So, Which is “Bigger?”
Ultimately, this is probably a useless question. In number of raw shows, NYFW edges PFW out (although not by much). In terms of “big names,” Paris takes an indisputable lead (in fact, it’s second only to Milan for household name designers). In terms of emerging designers, the win goes to New York.
A hierarchical look at life tends to be reductive, at best, so it’s best to leave the matter at that. No matter how you look at it, NY and Paris Fashion Week bookend the world’s biggest fashion gathering. More importantly, in that monthlong span, a vast number of designers find the chance to promote their work.
Best of all, both add just a little bit of glamour to everyday life.
Sometimes you really can’t ask for more than that.