Los Angeles Fashion Week is upon us once again and the annual event is picking up steam. For the last few years, LAFW shows, presentations, and parties have taken place at locations all over the city, which lead to a nebulous, under-attended event. This year, everything is going down at historic Union Square downtown, and Mayor Eric Garcetti even signed a document making L.A. Fashion Week official.
Designers from nearly every continent will be showing this week, just as global designers show in New York, Milan, and Paris. The goal, according to executive producer Arthur Chipman, is to “bring international brands to Los Angeles that have never shown in the U.S. before to help build their businesses while boosting our own local economy, and elevating emerging and established local favorites.” Forty brands will show over the course of four days.
The fashion month events kicked off last week at the Art Hearts fashion at the Taglyan Complex, with a glitzy presentation by Sue Wong (think towering headdresses and sweeping, coral-toned, sparkly gowns). Presentations by designers including Datari Austin, Sanchez Kane, Ashton Michael and Reese are scheduled to follow.
Last year Tom Ford decided to break with convention and returned to the runway (which he had dismissed after leaving his position at Gucci) in Los Angeles. The success of his show brought eyes (and well-heeled bodies) west, and may yet prove to be the point at which L.A. began reclaiming its place among destinations where great fashion debuts. We hope it does. So does Chipman as LAFW gets underway. “There is an incredible amount of business to be done here in L.A. with our thriving apparel market and manufacturing industry,” he says.
Many of LAFW’s events are invite-only, but a few, like Fashion Business Inc.’s annual All Aboard fund-raiser on October 13, are open to the public. The evening will include a cocktail party, a multi-label runway show, and a brief awards presentation—and the tickets already sold out.
Presentations and shows that are not associated with the official LAFW are scheduled at various locations across the city over the next few weeks, so stay tuned.