January 26, 2021

Bridget Foley’s Diary: The Exodus From New York

New York Fashion Week is in turmoil. If it weren’t obvious already, the news on Wednesday that Joseph Altuzarra is defecting to Paris makes it official. His is the fifth American brand to do so in two seasons, with Proenza Schouler, Monique Lhuillier and Rodarte (who held appointments there last fall) having shown during what used to be couture week, but is now an amalgam of couture, spring and cruise. Altuzarra will show during the city’s traditional ready-to-wear season, as will Thom Browne.
With those single-season departures, New York has lost several of its most highly anticipated, most artistic shows. There aren’t many more left. Yes, there are still plenty of shows, hundreds of them, but relatively few with the must-see magnetism that every season needs. While that may sound mean, it’s not intended as such. Rather, it’s a statement of fact, and people are wondering. In Paris during couture, I had at least three conversations (none of which I initiated) that included snippets along the lines of, “What’s happening in New York?”; “Something’s got to be done”; “Soon, there won’t be anyone left.”
It’s a situation long in the making.

Altuzarra RTW Fall 2017
Clint Spaulding/WWD

The American industry has always been more democratic than its European counterparts, at least in part a reflection of a country established

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