NY Fashion Week: Big Changes and Men’s Highlights

The fashion industry is changing, and New York Fashion Week is changing with it. Runways used to be invitation-only events where designers would present their ideas for the next season to the press, magazine editors, retail buyers and Hollywood socialites for review, sales and promotions. Now, fashion week is becoming more and more accessible to the public through free events, live-streaming and social media.

An increasing and changing audience has pushed many designers toward a see now, buy now model where runway clothing, which would normally be a preview for next season, is available for purchase immediately. Rather than selling their preview items for next season, designers want to feature clothing that correlates to the current season so it can be sold now. This means either repeating styles that have already been previewed, mixing in current season styles with previews or creating new lines for the current season.

Tommy Hilfiger is one such designer that has taken the latter approach. On September 10th, Hilfiger opened “Tommy Pier” and converted South Street Seaport into a carnival complete with food, rides, games and, of course, a runway. He showcased his new fall collection that featured a collaboration with supermodel Gigi Hadid, and following the modeling, is available for purchase online. Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Tom Ford and Rebecca Minkoff also had see now/buy now collections.

Not everyone, however, is keen on the changing fashion calendar. Major designers Dian von Furstenberg and Derek Lam chose to show their collections only to a small private group of press and buyers rather than put on large shows. Regardless, there were still many great shows to see. I’ll take you through some of the highlights of my personal favorites for the Spring/Summer preview collections.

J Crew is one of my favorite stores for men and women whose styles always speak to a classic, dressy-casual look. Most of their outfits feature three pieces: a chino pant or khaki shorts, a crewneck sweater or button down shirt, and a blazer or utility jacket to top it off. Some of my favorite pieces included a slate blue, cable knit cardigan, a navy, white and red plaid sports coat and a camel colored button down with large buttons.

The Michael Kors collection was my favorite for menswear this season. At first glance, the collection is overall very navy, khaki, white and black. The outfits that really stuck out to me were the monochrome suits and the classy, casual outfits that featured one piece with a large, bold print. I particularly loved the layered look of one model, which was comprised of white pants, a white and navy chevron printer sweater, a button down in the same pattern, a solid navy trench coat and a navy, and white tie in a large polka dot with navy slip-on sneakers.

Moving away from preppy casual to Rag and Bone’s edgier, sporty style, the monochrome look prevailed on models dressed head to toe in navy, safari green, cobalt blue, and of course, black. The Rag and Bone collection definitely has a comfier, street-style vibe with track pants, leather-sleeved bombers, windbreakers and crewneck sweatshirts. A few looks I really liked featured loose fitting short-sleeved button downs layered over long sleeve shirts and sneakers with a similar color design to oxfords.

Todd Snider mixed sporty and nerdy chic in a collection that features shiny, sea foam green athletic shorts and plaid button ups (though not on the same model!). I like the way Snider deals with the tracksuit. He has two looks that successfully pull off a full matching tracksuit as well as other looks that break up the pair. In an interesting combination he pairs a black track jacket with white stripes down the arms over grey, Glen plaid dress pants with clean white sneakers. I also want to mention the leading look, which was very casual, consisted of black jeans, a black and white long-sleeve short and a seafoam green Harrington coat with black New Balance sneakers.

I leave you with some of the overall recurring trends from New York Fashion Week’s menswear. Athleisure isn’t going anywhere. Tracksuits, hoodies and parkas graced many of the stages and Under Armor premiered its first runway with street styles in athletic materials. The most standout men’s accessories were backpacks and belts, and many looks featured rolled cuffs or ankle cut jeans. There was also an abundance of yellow as well as muted looks in soft, dusty peaches, greys and cream. There was also a large military inspiration and throwbacks to the seventies.

Check out the other Spring 2017 menswear collections on Vogue.com!