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Why Menswear Designers Demanded Their Own New York Fashion Week

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Guys attending New York Fashion Week in February
Guys attending New York Fashion Week in February
Driely S.

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The first-ever New York Fashion Week: Men hasn't even begun, but the three-day event that's taking place at Skylight Clarkson Square next week already has its skeptics. "Another branded fashion week is that last thing we need," as one editor is quoted in a Bloomberg article (though countries with up-and-coming designers may beg to differ). Others questioned whether it was really necessary for brands with both men's and women's lines to have separate shows. But as The Cut points out, it's really just about dollars and sense.

"Simply put, when menswear designers showed as part of the larger NYFW in previous seasons, they were doing so two months after they sold their collections," Veronique Pean writes (buyers place orders for men's and women's collections at different times of the year). "And any press they received as a result of a show was small compared to the higher-profile women's collections."

"It just didn't make any sense to have a collection stored away for more than a month, and then picking it back up, styling it, and showing it to the world," Tim Coppens, a former NYFW presence, added. With a dedicated men's week, "there is a relevance now, and buyers [will be] looking at the collection, placing their orders,"

Secondly, it's a matter of national pride. "I think the industry felt that it was time to kind of wave the American menswear flag," Perry Ellis creative director Michael Maccari, said, citing the success of men's fashion weeks in other major fashion capitals for those country's brands. And bundling them in with the women's shows in September and February wasn't an option—not just because the calendar is already crowded.

"The men's business and the women's business are still separate businesses," Maccari continued. "The men's floor is different than the women's floor, the men's buyer is different than the women's buyer, the men's magazines are different than the women's magazines—the industry is still segmented." And as such, they need to be treated separately.

Could the buying schedules ever be merged? Sure, according to Todd Synder. "But that would take a global effort or an act of God."

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