Why Is NYFW Still Important? Emerging Designers Weigh In

This week I’m reminded of how much I love seeing a new name on my calendar for fashion week. It might not necessarily be a brand that just launched—it can be a label I once heard in passing but don’t really know much about or one I saw on Instagram at some point but have yet to purchase a piece from myself. Either way, that sense of discovery is a huge part of what makes fashion week so important, at least for me.

Over the past few seasons of fashion shows in New York, I’ve noticed more and more emerging and little-known labels making their mark, even while so many big-name brands are leaving for other cities or moving around their production calendars. In fact, of the four major cities that will host a fashion week this month, New York outnumbers London, Milan, and Paris with over three times as many participants. All of which makes me wonder, what makes New York Fashion Week important?

I can answer that for myself, sure—it’s the ability to see the landscape of work among amazing American designers, the excitement of being first to see trends bubble up, the fact that it’s the most diverse fashion week, and I have a bit of hometown pride—but what about the newest additions to the calendar?

These are designers who’ve only have a few runway shows under their belts, just recently gained notoriety, or even launched their e-commerce sites within the last month. However, as we found out, it was important for them to be at fashion week, and New York’s specifically. Ahead, take a look at (and meet) some of the newest brands we saw this past week on the runway and in presentations, and find out why they’re sticking around.

Land of Distraction

Nanushka

Romeo Hunte

Marina Moscone

Han Wen

Saks Potts

Nehra Simone 

Snow Xue Gao

The Consensus 

Among the designers we spoke with, it as evident that (skeptics aside) New York Fashion Week is still very much important—it’s face time with those in the industry that can help propel their brands and it’s a means of making a splash on social media. Obviously, a couple weeks out of the year aren't the only time this can be done, and while these emerging designers keep hustling through the 50 others, many of them seem to be ready to head back to NYC come September. See you there.