A Breath of Fresh Air on the Catwalk

It’s about time men’s fashion stole the show. July sees New York street style getting its own spotlight away from its female counterpart. New York Fashion Week: Men’s puts a firm foot in the door of fashion weeks and high end fashion.


Sergio Davila Runway 16 July - Fernanda Calfat
Sergio Davila Runway 16 July – Fernanda Calfat

The Council of Fashion Designers of America gave one to the boys with the launch of New York Fashion Week: Men’s. Editors, retailers and bloggers got together to celebrate menswear as showcased in a series of runway shows and special events. This saw the first-ever launch of a new biannual menswear show held separate to the women’s side of the business. Featuring classic American designers, NYFWM ranged from Thom Browne, Calvin Klein and Polo Ralph Lauren to Public School, Theory and Grungy Gentleman. These designers heralded American New York men’s style as an important contribution to the fashion industry.




Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA, says it was “an opportunity to demonstrate the collective talent of an important segment of our industry.” In fact it’s an important time for the industry — they’ve seen a 5% increase in the menswear market between 2012 and 2013. American menswear has never been stronger, and the presentations prove the Americans still have a strong influence over street wear.


Tim Coppens’ collection revealed the potential future for NYFWM, with statement pieces any high end customer would be interested in wearing, without losing sight of creativity and innovation in design. In a swirl of bright colours, stripy details and loose sleeves, Coppens created an air of youthfulness as the boys strutted down the catwalk to the sound of Mulatu Astatke. Meanwhile, Michael Bastian revitalised the classic American style with leaf patterns and accessories. There was a mixture of the familiar metropolitan grey and a modern feel of proportion in the classic suit.


Tommy Hilfiger - Associated Press
Tommy Hilfiger – Associated Press


An important highlight of the show was seeing diversity on the catwalk. The lineup of models did not obey a single look — the range of ages, skin tones and body types defied the idea of conformity and instead celebrated individuality. The models represented various ethnicities, rarely seen in womenswear shows, to display clothes wearable by any man. NYFWM15 hints at the future of men’s fashion as a place for practical designs and ‘real’ models.


Read more about the great American houses in Masters of Fashion Volume 31. Discover where it all began and see the world of fashion evolve right in front of your eyes.