New York City Fashion Week gets makeover amid coronavirus pandemic

Sandy Kenyon Image
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
NYC Fashion Week gets makeover amid COVID pandemic
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Sandy Kenyon tells us how Fashion Week will look different than in years past.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Fashion Week runs through Thursday in New York City, but it looks a lot different than in years past. There are fewer live shows, fewer indoor shows, and almost no spectators watching in person.

Instead, amid the coronaviurs pandemic, it has become a largely virtual event.

Fashion Week events have become so crowded in recent years and tickets to the shows harder to get, in part because so many famous people packed the front rows. But that was before COVID-19 required major adjustments.

The frenzy is gone. No longer are models packed together to prepare. The "in crowd" wasn't invited this year. So inevitably, some of the traditional excitement has been lost.

"Long gone are the days of you and I sitting front row at Philip Lim," WWD Style Director Alex Badia said. "Going backstage and interviewing the designer and seeing the celebrities, all this is gone for now."

Media company giant IMG has created an official digital hub at for the event.

"We will have some shows," said April Guidone, senior vice president of Global Brand and Business Development at IMG Fashion. "Many will be outdoors, and some designers are choosing to show their collections through film."

Anyone can watch online for free by signing up and selecting either programming and runway shows live or watch at their leisure.

No longer are these events restricted to a chosen few.

"That is the only advantage to be honest," Badia said. "It is much more democratic, the fact is you can have many more people watching it."

This fall may be remembered as a moment when fashion better reflected the times, not just in the way COVID-19 has changed our lives, but also in the way injustice has warped our perspective.

IMG is presenting panels by the newly formed Black Fashion Council, which seeks to fight racism in an industry where black-owned businesses account for less than 2% of all sales.

"Those are very sad statistics," Badia said. "Things need to change now."

Badia and the team are committed to spotlighting designers from diverse backgrounds.

Hispanic Heritage Month has started, and WWD is featuring Hispanic designers throughout the month as part of the celebration.

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