New York Fashion Week… #NYFW… another year, another season and whichever way you say it or hashtag it, the meaning and the importance of this week will always be the same. My longing to attend fashion week prompted me to research facts on this coveted event and just how and why it originated. My findings led me to discover a very stylish and innovative woman, better known as, Eleanor Lambert.
Eleanor founded the first fashion week, formerly known as “Press Week” in 1943. Press Week could not have come at a better time, because of World War II, fashion industry workers were unable to travel to Paris, and America wasn’t known for anything related to fashion like France was. The very first fashion week distracted from French fashion and shined a light on American fashion. Lambert wanted a chance to showcase the talents of American designers to journalists and publications that constantly ignored their work and after the first show, she got her wish. What once was overlooked became recognized and featured all within a week.
Fortunately for the fashion industry’s sake, Press Week wasn’t all that Ms. Lambert had a hand over. Her main goal was to change how the world looked at America’s style and fashion, Press Week was an excellent platform, but more needed to be done if other countries were going to take America seriously. The International Best Dressed List, the Coty Fashion Critics’ Award and the Council of Fashion Designers of America are three stylish contributions developed and organized by Ms. Lambert.
The Empress of Seventh Avenue. The Innovator of American Fashion. However many nicknames she has been given there is no denying her magnitude in the fashion industry. A mere idea became a goal which transformed into what we now know as New York Fashion Week. A week dedicated to the talented, stylish offerings of many American designers, with hoards of journalists, bloggers, social media mavens, street style photographers and fashionistas alike, strutting the streets of New York in February and September; a far cry from the Plaza Hotel in 1943. Eleanor’s mission was clear, she proved to the world that America could be just as fashionable as any other country, and I believe her mission was accomplished.