NEW YORK >> No invitation? No problem. Several designers moved their New York Fashion Week events from behind the velvet rope and into the streets for the public to enjoy.
Rebecca Minkoff had the most literal sidewalk catwalk, blocking off the street in front of her Soho store for a runway show Sept. 10. Near the seated viewing area for VIPs, pedestrians took in the sights and snapped a few photos as they passed by. Afterward, everyone was invited inside to shop the collection just seen on the runway.
The list goes on: Tommy Hilfiger, Gypsy Sport, Timo Weiland, Charlotte Tilbury and Kendall + Kylie (Jenner) also opened their events to those beyond the usual fashion editors, store buyers, bloggers and celebrities.
While Hilfiger’s TommyXGigi collection was unveiled in a carnival at the South Street Seaport. The others held presentations and launch parties at Samsung 837, a multilevel event space in the Meatpacking District outfitted with Samsung gadgets, a virtual-reality tunnel and a three-story screen. People signed up to attend on the Samsung website.
Fashion week pop-up storefronts were also a hit. Instead of previewing trends that won’t be available in stores for several months, more designers are offering see now/buy now or in-season collections at temporary shops. The Shop at NYFW in the Meatpacking District had a Maybelline makeup giveaway wall, an artist live-painting cosmetics bags and some trippy fashion and technology-inspired installations by Intel. Another shop, F.Y.I. MADE New York a few blocks away, sold straight-off-the-runway selections.
To further democratize the New York Fashion Week experience, a number of brands unveiled their collections on social media. Some designers streamed shows via Facebook or on their websites. Misha Nonoo’s social platform of choice was Snapchat, where she premiered the lookbook for her shop-now collection on lifestyle website Refinery29’s account.