What is Fashion Week?

A Fashion Week is a fashion industry event, typically named after the host city or major commercial sponsor, lasting four to ten days. It is held so that fashion designers or “houses” are able showcase their “collections” for either Spring or Fall seasons. “Spring” fashion weeks are held in January through March and “Fall” fashion weeks are held between September and November, since they must be held a few months in advance of the season to allow the press and buyers a chance to preview fashion designs for the following season. This is also to allow time for retailers to arrange to purchase or incorporate the designers into their retail marketing. They are attended by buyers for major stores, the media, celebrities, and members of the entertainment industry. The highlight is usually the famous “runway show”, where the top designers show and well-known models are featured. Men’s and Children’s fashion shows are often part of the week’s activities, especially in the prominent cities.

In years past, fashion weeks were predominantly” for “the trade only”, however, today they are entertainment and media events. They may incorporate live musicians, celebrity guests, lavish galas and charity events, and a few allow the public to purchase special passes to see the see the runway shows or attend expositions which display handbags, jewelery, shoes, hats and cosmetics. Many important fashion design schools participate in the shows, as well. Some fashion weeks can be genre-specific, such as a Miami Fashion Week (Swimwear), Prêt-a-Porter (ready-to-wear) Fashion Week, Couture (one-of-a-kind designer original) Fashion Week, Palm Springs Fashion Week (Resort Collections) and Bridal Fashion Week.

The most prominent and well-known fashion weeks are: New York’s Olympus Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week, London Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week, Los Angeles Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, and Tokyo Fashion Week. However, there are many others, including: San Francisco Fashion Week, Palm Springs Fashion Week, L’Oréal Fashion Week Toronto, and more!

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