New York to hold first ever men's fashion week

July 13 will see men walk the runways without the ladies for the launch of a brand new New York City fashion week, dedicated entirely to menswear.

New York to hold first ever men's fashion week

By Pam Ryan

Aptly named NYFW: Men's, the event will span over four days and includes well known fashion brands like Michael Kors, Calvin Klein and Polo Ralph Lauren.

The event is set to cost in the low seven figures, according to Steven Kolb, CEO of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, who is organising the event.

The tab will be picked up by corporate sponsors including Amazon Fashion, Dockers, Cadillac and Loews Regency Hotels, he said.

The market for menswear has grown unexpectedly over the past decade. Quartz reports that from 2010 to 2015 online sales of menswear posted an annual sales growth of 17.4%. Men's clothing is now surging faster than the female counterparts by 0.2% over the last decade, according to research firm Euromonitor.

While other fashion capitals like Milan, Paris and London have had men's fashion weeks for years, American menswear designers have had no single event, until now, to show their work.

Men's and women's buying cycles also differ so while menswear used to be showcased alongside women's clothing during fashion week, this was often after buyers had made their purchases. Menswear houses were losing out on showcasing their pieces with the option of selling, according to Robert Burke, CEO of Robert Burke and Associates.

“It [made the shows] kind of irrelevant,” he said.

Now, NYFW: Men’s will align with the July buying season.

The event will showcase 40 designers, about one quarter that of New York women's fashion week.

David Hart, 33, who’s showing his namesake collection on the first day of the event, is thankful to have a platform to show his designs. “It’s really amazing,” he said.

“In the past, men’s shows have gotten lost in the weeds of women shows. It’s a platform for menswear to highlight the talent that’s here.”

Young designers like Hart and Alan Eckstein, the 30-year-old co-founder and designer of Timo Weiland, hope the shows will lead to orders from some of the big department stores and chain boutiques.

“It’s a huge deal for us,” Eckstein said. “This is everything we really wanted since we started showing at women’s fashion week. Showing menswear there always felt like an afterthought.”

Kolb believes that the week will show the very best of New York men’s fashion. “At the end of the day, a fashion week is a fashion week, nothing’s really that different,” Kolb said. “I just think ours is very American.”

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