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New York needs a better stage for menswear

The autumn 14 women’s catwalk season kicked off in New York last week, with big-name designers such as Marc Jacobs and Victoria Beckham unveiling their latest lines.

Graeme Moran

Graeme Moran

Peppering the schedule was a selection of menswear. This might seem odd, having the US men’s brands showing exactly one month after the first model walked out at London Collections: Men, and after many buyers have done Pitti, Milan and Paris and, most importantly, spent most of their buying budgets.

But this is the problem with New York. Its menswear designers, of which there are a growing number of significance, are not given a dedicated platform to show. Just like London before LCM, New York’s men’s brands are just stuck onto the end of the city’s women’s shows.

This raises two issues. First, many American brands make the trip to Paris Fashion Week, opening showrooms for buyers. So what’s the point of a show a few weeks later? Of course it’s the exposure and raising awareness, but why do it so late?

The second sticking point is, what’s the remedy? New York setting up its own menswear fashion week? But when could they do it?

London won the race and picked the earliest possible dates, and the continued Pitti Uomo clashes don’t allow for much movement. How about at the end of Paris? But will buyers make the trip after a European slog?

I’ll give it a couple of seasons before New York comes up with a solution, but with US menswear names on the rise, let’s hope the
best brands can continue to make the most of a not ideal situation.

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