An explanation of the differences between New York Fashion Week vs. Paris Fashion Week, according to a normal 20-something trying to live
I love fashion. I love seeing how the clothes come down the runway, scrolling through street style photos shared on Instagram, poring through industry updates on Business of Fashion and The Cut by New York Magazine. I’ve been working in contemporary fashion retail for over 5 years and continue to enjoy observing the upcoming trends in the market. More than anything, I love helping clients navigate the variety of available options to reflect their own personal style.
Honestly, I don’t consider myself a full-fledged fashion blogger, but rather a lifestyle blogger with professional experience in the fashion industry and someone who wants form more informative, substantial relationships within the industry that last longer than an Instagram Story.
Anyways. If you’re someone like me who shares the same curiosity about what it’s like to partake in fashion week, I’ll share the brief experiences I have had in New York and Paris.
The Differences Between New York Fashion Week (NYFW) vs. Paris Fashion Week (PFW)
We all know that the big shows are always reserved for the top industry professionals and influencers, but NYFW has found a way to monetize itself among the general public by hosting a few public events. My friend Cara and I went to Lie Sangbong’s 2016 Spring-Summer runway show with tickets we bought on Gilt.com.
It’s also “easier” to find volunteer positions backstage with emerging designers with runway shows at NYFW—Cara and I were able to see behind-the-scenes of BAJA East’s 2016-2017 Fall-Winter runway show. At PFW, I would imagine that volunteer opportunities would be more readily presented to students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs at fashion universities in Paris.
If Fashion Week wasn’t already exclusive enough, PFW takes the cake for either being someone or knowing someone to get into a show.
For my first PFW show, my friend Melissa of Melissa in Paris got invitations to attend Kristina Fidelskaya’s 2018-2019 Fall-Winter runway at Musée de l’Armée. We were originally assigned to standing room, waited in the queue for a long while with the crowd, but luckily found ourselves upgraded to front row shortly before the show started.
One thing is certain—PFW’s exclusivity has strengthened its brand and vision in the eyes of the fashion crowd, whereas NYFW is facing a slight identity crisis with designers choosing to showcase in Paris.
So what’s the commonality between NYFW and PFW?
The one thing that I have found as a fashion week attendee—an attendee assigned to standing room, perhaps upgraded to second-row seats, if possible—is the fact that everyone in the room is happy to be there.
Yes, it takes forever to wait to be seated.
Yes, it’s not comfortable to be sitting too close to the stranger next to you.
Yes, the show lasts less than 30 minutes.
But simply experiencing the spectacle is what makes fashion week alluring to those interested in fashion.
The Future of Fashion Week
Over the past two years, the traditional fashion week is changing with brands deciding to follow their own runway schedules, find different venues instead of a centralized part of their respective cities, and live-stream their runway shows on Instagram and Facebook.
Which brands will continue following the traditional model?
Will all brands start live-streaming presentations during fashion week?
Will NYFW still be around in the form that we know today?
The only way to find out is to keep watching.
- The Future of Fashion Shows Debated (WWD)
- Examining the Future of New York Fashion Week
- Vogue Discusses: The Future of Fashion Shows