A Lesson on Men's Fashion Week
Written by Brendan Brown
Illustrations by The Sunflowerman
To the average person, fashion week might just be an overly glamorized event that truly doesn’t mean a thing. Now imagine what men’s fashion week might mean to the average person? Absolutely nothing. The beautiful thing however, is that times are changing and menswear is truly becoming something special. With the help of prominent pop culture icons, men’s fashion week has gained quite the momentum and slowly the average person is becoming slightly more aware of its existence and importance. This is a lesson on men’s fashion week.
Now to get you situated on how it all works, it will be ideal that you understand the logistical schedule of men’s fashion week, or MFW for short. MFW happens twice a year in several cities around the world but the cities that lead the menswear fashion industry is London, Milan, Paris and New York City. Every January, designers from these cities showcase their upcoming Autumn/Winter collections and do the same for their Spring/Summer collections every June. The idea behind it being held twice a year is to allow designers to showcase for the many buyers and media. The collections are showcased a whole year before to help start the media push and it allows buyers to see the garments and place their purchase orders which gives time for manufacturing. This has been happening for years now and we can be sure it will continue as the menswear industry continues to grow.
LONDON. The first stop on the fashion week calendar is London. One of the most successful financial cities on our list, London is a city that is known for its diversity and creative nature. Londoners are amongst the most open minded people that are not afraid to adopt and or create a new fashion trend. As an example, London is credited for being amongst the first fashion cities to focus on men. Savile Row, a street in Mayfair, is known for its traditional bespoke tailoring for men. The term “bespoke” as applied to fine tailoring is understood to have originated in Savile Row, and came to mean a suit cut and made by hand. On the other end of the menswear spectrum, London designers like J.W. Anderson and Vivienne Westwood bring you collections that are trendsetting and controversial. Vivienne Westwood used her stage to help amplify awareness for climate change. Her AW18 collection was full of unisex looks that truly attests to the spirit of London Fashion Week Men’s.
FLORENCE. After London comes a city that was not mentioned on our line up of men’s fashion week. Florence was not mentioned because it is not a fashion week but more of a menswear fashion showcase. This showcase is known as Pitti Uomo and it is one of the world’s most important trade shows for menswear and for the launching of new collections. Pitti Uomo is widely known for being the place of acceptance for dandyism and the birthplace of the ‘Pitti Peacock’. A place that was launched to help push Italian menswear has now cemented its place in the fashion world’s international stage and has made of menswear street style a whole different meaning. When Pitti Uomo happens the fashion world knows it because your Instagram feed is suddenly filled with street style shots of the Pitti Peacocks and their elaborate plumage also known as double-breasted coats and other garments alike.
MILAN. After Pitti Uomo wraps up, Milan comes next. One of the most powerful fashion cities in the world, Milan is one of the cities that form part of the “Big Four” fashion capitals of the world along side London, Paris, and New York. Known as Milan Fashion Week Uomo, this fashion week showcases some of the world’s top luxury brands like Versace, FENDI, Marcelo Burlon, Marni, Ermenegildo Zegna, Moschino, Prada, Neil Barrett, and many more. Milan fashion, despite taking inspiration from the Parisian fashion trends, developed its own approach, which was by nature devoted to uniqueness, simplicity and the quality of the fabrics. Milan has been a place where much of the Italian designs get created and at times even manufactured. A trendsetting city that has kept Italian fashion on the map since the beginning.
PARIS. The oldest city in the men’s fashion weeks schedule is also the fashion week of fashion weeks. The longest fashion week of all of them, Paris has editors, photographer, models, buyers, and the rest of the fashion goers busy for days that are jammed packed with runway shows, presentations, events, and parties. A magical city that fosters the most creative minds, Paris Men’s Fashion Week showcases the works of top fashion houses like Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Dior Homme, Hermes, and Lanvin. Paris has been the leading force amongst the “Big Four” fashion capitals. It can be said that Parisian fashion influence has gone untarnished since its early days. French style is without a doubt the ultimate fashion model and Paris is without a doubt the ultimate fashion city that showcases the likes of trending fashion brands like Off-White, Acne Studios, and Comme Des Garcons. During this fashion week, the biggest names in the fashion industry are seen attending the shows and so as you can imagine, it is the city to be in for street style photography.
NEW YORK. After what it seems like a whirlwind of fashion in Europe, the last stop in the men’s fashion week calendar is New York City. Known as New York Fashion Week Men’s (NYFWM), this last stop is fairly new to the men’s weeks so it slows down the pace and it helps wrap up men’s fashion week. Created by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), NYFWM serves as the platform for American menswear designers to showcase their latest works. Fashion brands like Suitsupply, Todd Snyder, Joseph Abboud, Hugo BOSS, and Raf Simons are some of the brands that showcase their work during this fashion week. New York City is the youngest city of them all and it is still evolving in the menswear industry. We will soon start to see more amazing talents join the list of fashion brands that currently take part of New York Fashion Week Men’s.