Vivienne Westwood, who at the end of last year revealed she was ceasing catwalks in favour of digital presentations, has revealed she will be staging a presentation for buyers only at New York Fashion Week on 6 September. However she will also stage a catwalk show for both press and buyers at Paris Fashion Week later in the month.
The arrival of the British design legend in New York is something of a coup for the American Fashion Week, since it had been struggling with the loss of a number of its own designers from its schedule. However the SS19 schedule is looking much healthier with international brands Longchamp and Escada also choosing to show in New York and Rodarte and Proenza Schouler returning having previously defected to Paris.
Stephen Kolb, president of Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) which organises the NYFW calendar, said he was very happy to see big international names choosing to show in New York and to see native designers returning. Both Opening Ceremony and Lela Rose have also opted to show again in New York.
New to the line up for SS19 are eveningwear designer Christopher John Rogers, LVMH Prize winner Kozaburo, CFDA Lexus Initiative winner Studio 189 and ready-to-wear brand Marina Moscone. Meanwhile a highlight of the week is expected to be Ralph Lauren’s 50th anniversary event at Bethesda Terrace in Central Park on 7 September.
The return of Westwood to presenting and staging catwalks is something of a surprise since she had been scaling down her catwalk activity in recent seasons. Initially she had combined both her men’s show and women’s show and staged them both at London Fashion Week Men’s, then in December she revealed she would be ditching catwalks and showing her collections via a digital presentation instead.
However, for Westwood, the catwalk shows were always more than just a chance to present her latest creative vision but also a platform for her activism (she is famously committed to environmental causes) so her New York and Paris events are bound to be closely watched. In addition the designer and punk pioneer is clearly enjoying something of a moment as it was revealed recently that incoming Burberry creative chief Riccardo Tisci had tapped her for a collaborative capsule collection, which will be launched in December.