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New York Fashion Week returns with socially distant and digital shows

September 13, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 13: A view of the front row at the runway for Jason Wu - September 2020 during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Spring Studios Terrace on September 13, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

It will be a fashion month like no other. The coronavirus pandemic has upended the traditional runway format, and in its place will be a mix of virtual and, in some cases, physical shows with limited audience numbers. New York Fashion Week (NYFW) arrives first, running from September 13 to 17.

The coronavirus pandemic has upended the traditional runway format, and in its place will be a mix of virtual and, in some cases, physical shows with limited audience numbers.

New York Fashion Week (NYFW) arrives first, running from September 13 to 17 ahead of London, Milan and Paris.

Harlem's Fashion Row, a platform founded to promote diversity in fashion by supporting designers of color, also kicked off NYFW Sunday with a virtual showcase of collections by Black designers Kristian Lorén, Kimberly Goldson and Rich Fresh.

To broadcast the virtual events, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) has created Runway360, a digital platform to show new collections or other creative projects.

And although the usual star-studded fashion week will be wholly different this year, the switch to virtual may also make for more sustainable presentations -- a recent report by Ordre, which specializes in online showrooms, found that international fashion weeks emit the same volume of greenhouse gases annually as a small country.

According to CEO of the CFDA, Steven Kolb, there are 10 new American brands showing this week, including avant-garde mother-and-daughter luxury label Dur Doux, and Oak & Acorn, a Harlem-based sustainable denim brand that makes bold, genderless styles.

The conceptual fashion group, which was upcycling garments before the practice had a name, returns to the schedule almost 20 years after it staged a gothy ready-to-wear show in a New York City funeral parlor (Chloe Sevigny was famously involved in the label's original iteration).

Following NYFW, London Fashion Week will also attempt a mix of in-person and digital events from September 17, as organizers contend with new coronavirus restrictions introduced in the UK following a recent jump in new cases.

And while there's a growing fear that parts of Europe will see a new wave of Covid-19 cases, both Milan and Paris still, for now, plan to stage a number of physical shows towards the end of the month.

Meanwhile, popular social media app TikTok is looking to engage Gen-Z audiences through its own online fashion month, partnering with labels such as Louis Vuitton, Alice + Olivia and Saint Laurent, among others, to livestream runway shows and present capsule collections.

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