The Most Influential Fashion Week Is Not The One You Think

milan-fashion-weekPhoto: Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana.
There are several ways we can track Fashion Month by the numbers: how many miles we traveled, the amount of data we used while constantly emailing (and Instagramming) on the go, or the ratio of coffee to Champagne to solid food we injested. But, the New York Times has taken it upon itself to play a different kind of numbers game, one that encompasses a major part of what the four-week run of shows is all about: influence.
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Looking at the NYT's findings, we'd think New York is the runaway winner. The paper tabulates that 110,000 people attend shows in the Big Apple — a staggering lead compared to the mere 5,000 viewers in Paris. It's important to note, though, we can't be sure how many headed to Lincoln Center to see Chandler Bing and Bartles & Jaymes.
But, despite the adoring crowd that came for NYC's 277 shows, Milan Fashion Week is the power player if we're talking in dollar signs. "Nearly 40% of the top women’s luxury apparel brands shown this season were part of Milan Fashion Week," the Times reports, referring to storied fashion houses, like Prada, Gucci, and Armani.
If we're to look at the fashion industry as the money-making business that it is, we'd have to assume that the most influential week was the the one spent in Italy. But, there are always holes to poke in such an argument, too. As we've reported over the past few years, Milan and the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana has struggled to be a destination that promotes and nurtures young designers — something New York and London do quite well. Paris is certainly not to be discounted for the beauty and creativity designers bring there from across the globe (think: Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto). It's also not so far behind Milan's lead with its 31% "share of global luxury brands," as can be seen on the Time's infographic.
For a complete look at the numbers that determine which international Fashion Week has the biggest sartorial say, just head to the paper of record.
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