Sometimes we may be perplexed by unique dressing styles during many Fashion Week, but for fashion enthusiasts, confidence is important.

At New York Fashion Week, Confidence is Important

During the early-mid 2000s, there was a time when New York seemed to be at the epicenter of the fashion world. The internet broke down the barriers of the industry, making once exclusive runways accessible to a wider audience. While fashion centers in Europe resisted this democratization, New York embraced it wholeheartedly. It was a glamorous and star-studded affair, with celebrities in the front row, reality shows, designer collaborations for the mass market, bloggers (to some extent), and the iconic fashion tents. However, this era had its limitations and became somewhat one-dimensional.

Over the years, New York Fashion Week has experienced fragmentation and struggles as it tries to redefine itself. As the European luxury market expands and becomes more expensive, commerciality has become a dominant force. In contrast, in New York, it feels like the opposite effect is taking place.

For emerging and independent labels, building a successful business and turning a profit is an incredibly challenging task, mainly because the industry’s traditional infrastructure doesn’t provide much support for emerging talent. This season, both established and emerging labels exude a gritty determination. It’s a quality that is unique to New York City, born from the city’s demanding and relentless hustle.

The timing is ideal for brands to focus on their own identities. According to McKinsey’s “The State of Fashion 2024” report, brands will need to move away from performance marketing and instead concentrate on nurturing personal and emotional connections with customers.

Willy Chavarria and Hillary Taymour of Collina Strada are two designers who have carved their own paths while also understanding how to expand their reach. Chavarria, in particular, has revolutionized American Ivy prep by making it accessible to those who have traditionally been excluded. He has become a beloved figure in the city, offering a fresh perspective. Chavarria’s skillful tailoring, exemplified by his baggy, flowing wool houndstooth trousers or double-breasted jacket with pronounced shoulders, opens up a world of possibilities for individuals who have felt marginalized in the predominantly white world of Americana fashion. In Willy Chavarria’s United States, clothing reflects reality but is filtered through a lens of fantasy, resulting in a unique blend of the provocative and the practical.

On the contrary, Taymour always approaches things with a sense of humor. In her latest collection, she played with the concept of feminine strength by incorporating mini dresses with padded biceps and shoulders. One model even sported psychedelic print shorts while carrying dumbbells made from kombucha squash instead of traditional weights. As always, Taymour’s casting included a diverse mix of her friends and chosen family, with one woman holding a baby and another visibly pregnant. Taymour has consistently stayed true to her vision and commitment to sustainability. She remains unwavering in her principles and has yet to seek external investment for her brand, which can be found at various retailers ranging from Nordstrom to SSENSE.

Sometimes we may be perplexed by unique dressing styles during many Fashion Week, but for fashion enthusiasts, confidence is important.

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