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The Death of Fashion Week?

Prior to 1993, the fashion world was dominated and dictated by Europe. It was nearly impossible for any up-and-coming designer to break the mold–let alone an American. Thus came the birth of New York Fashion Week, which has served as the crucial platform for American designers to gain the global respect they so deserve. Since then, NYFW has become one of the most distinguished fashion weeks in the world, with designers from all over contending for a spot on the coveted runway. Until now. 

Yesterday, notable American designer Zac Posen announced his departure from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center to pursue a show in a smaller venue. Posen is one of many designers (e.g. Michael Kors and Diane von Furstenberg) who have opted for shows outside the NYFW realm. 

The reasons behind this shift are varied. Ever since NYFW left Bryant Park in 2010, prolific members of the fashion industry have been less than pleased with Lincoln Center.  Bryant Park was ideal in the sense that it was a central location, in a large, open park. This layout enabled a dichotomous relationship between a private event in a public space. Bryant Park allowed for the people of New York to experience NYFW without actually stepping foot in the tents. Near the end of the Bryant Park Era, however, NYFW was simply outgrowing the park, and in need of a new location. Lincoln Center, with its weird, cramped layout and long corridors, has served as a satisfactory host. Furthermore, the rise of technology opens doors to new modes of showcasing collections, such as Alice Temperley's video installations which are not only more modern, but economically savvy. 

At this point, time will tell if the "shows will go on". However, thanks to the seventeen years of NYFW, American designers have achieved the credibility to continue their careers the way they choose, technologically pioneered or not. 

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