New York Fashion Week: What’s the Point?

Photo from Flickr

Photo from Flickr

Caedyn Lipovsky, Editor of News and Opinion

The fashion industry is a controversy. A controversy filled with excess materials and models who supposedly represent what the “ideal” men and women are supposed to look like. If this were true, what is the purpose of having a week dedicated to the extreme emphasis on these values? Is it that we are a society that truly enjoys tradition? Or is it that we as a society are overrun by the unrealistic desire to wear designer clothes that pretty men and women wear as they strut down overly excessive runways?

Fashion weeks date back to one of the many fashion capitals of the world, Paris, France. In 1918, couture houses in Paris began holding their shows on fixed dates during the year, thus surfacing the foundation for fashion week. However, different to then, fashion weeks now include extravagance to the max. Although these shows can serve as entertainment to fashion-lovers, the extravagance has gone too far. What many don’t think about as they watch models strut their stuff is the amount of money and wasted materials that are put into these shows. Our world is already attempting to handle the current climate crisis, and with the addition of fashion week, we are going in the wrong direction. For example, a New York Times report revealed that in 2011, a Marc Jacobs show cost about one million dollars.

Junior Priya Ramprabhu states that “fashion week is just another addition to the already ongoing environmental issues that exist in our world today. With an excessive use of resources to produce unnecessary shows, it really doesn’t make sense as to why we continue this tradition.” 

In addition to the obvious environmental defects, fashion week also revolves around examples of racism and cultural appropriation. Recently, in the fashion industry a situation occurred where an African American model left an FIT fashion event due to accessories that she described as “clearly racist” in a New York Post article. Besides that recent example, there have been various instances where brands have been accused of culturally appropriating. One significant time was when Gucci was accused of showing white models wearing traditional Sikh-style turbans. Truly, there is a very unclear line when a designer is honoring a culture and when they are blatantly disregarding the values of the traditions that that cultures revolves around. 

Clearly there are little to no benefits of New York Fashion Week. As a fashion lover myself, I do enjoy seeing the innovative ideas that designers come up with, however I do not believe that it is necessary to focus an intense amount of those ideas in one week. Not only does this cause damage to our already suffering environment, but it also has caused damage to the values of our society.