Around the world, week-long events dubbed “fashion week” take place in the fashion capitals of the world; Milan, Paris, London, and New York City. New York Fashion Week alone attracts 230,000 visitors to over 300 shows. However, these global events stemmed from humble beginnings.
The modern concept of Fashion Week can be traced back to the mid 1800s, where designers would hire women to wear their clothes out in public places as advertising, For years, small private fashion shows were held for the purpose of encouraging women to buy clothes. The first official Fashion Week was in New York City in 1943, credited to Eleanor Lambert. This first New York Fashion Week was created to bring attention to American designers. Christian Dior held a show for his collection in Paris in 1945. These two events were huge hits with fashion journalists, even world renowned Vogue.
Soon after the success in the 40s, more Fashion Weeks began to be organized and funded. Milan Fashion Week began in 1958, Paris Fashion Week in 1973, and finally London Fashion Week in 1984. These three, along with NYFW, are known as the “Big Four” Fashion Weeks. Although the industry has grown immensely since two centuries ago, there is so much potential for what comes next.
Personally, I think it is so interesting to see what came before modern Fashion Week. I think Fashion Week is so entertaining and it is so cool to observe all the beautiful designs, even if it is over social media.