With New York Fashion Week starting this weekend, we caught up with the award-winning creator and founder of Fashion Week in New York, Fern Mallis, who has has been an industry game changer in the world of fashion and design for more than 35 years. But with the global outbreak of COVID-19 grinding events to a halt, just what does she think about CFDA’s (Council of Fashion Designers of America) ‘business as usual’ approach?
CT: What’s your thoughts of the ‘business as usual’ mindset to fashion weeks?
FM: Nothing is ‘business as usual’ anymore.
CT: Online is great, but without the publication editors and VIP’s feeling the power of the front row; how many do you think will actually tune in and bother to support?
FM: It will be very interesting to see who actually is invited and shows up to be among the 30-50 guests allowed. Designers and PR firms have a tough job making the final edits. I have no idea how many editors/buyers will be sitting in front of their computers all day. I have to believe everyone’s eyes are glossing over a bit by now.
CT: Do you think designers should be more open and receptive by allowing anyone to view the show that’s streamed live? If so, how do you think this could change?
FM: I think the more the merrier. As the retail stores become more limited the survivors are the ones who established direct to consumer platforms. This is a big opportune time to do that
CT: What designers are you most looking forward to seeing and why?
FM: Can’t really say…. I have got a fairly busy week and will try to catch several on my phone or iPad…. I always try to support my friends like Biphu Mohapatra, libertine, Monse and Oscar de la Renta (if they are still showing). I’d like to see Tom Ford, Tanya Taylor, Cinq a Sept, and several others.
CT: Do you think it’ll be the death of street style? What will photographer’s do?
FM: Street style will always prevail…but that’s a good question the ‘street’ photographers will have slim pickings.
CT: Will you be tuning in from home, or physically attending?
FM: I’ll tune in remotely when I can and hope the online shows and presentations will be able to be viewed any time after initial showing. I am in no rush to be physically present this season and will miss all the usual energy and excitement…. but I know it will eventually come back.