Designer duo Proenza Schouler announced that they are leaving New York Fashion Week and future collections will be running in front of the Paris crowd. The same plan have sisters Mulleavy from American Rodarte that announced their plan just a few days earlier. And while Proenza Schouler says that the reason behind is ‘an attempt to better performances on the international stage’ Rodarte will be in Paris ‘because they believe in what fashion means in Paris’. Their seemingly harmless and completely legitimate business decisions in New York still triggered an avalanche of questions because it is the unexpected loss of two important and always interesting participants in the New York Fashion Week. So far, there is no question of a complete relocation of design studio or seats from the US to France, but when full-blooded American brands choose the Paris stage for their shows, then it certainly encourages many questions.
However, Rodarte and Proenza Schouler are not the first ones who pulled such a move. New York designers Phillip Lim and Thom Browne are in Paris for several years already, showing his men’s collections creatively. ‘Paris is a city where fashion, and even men’s fashion, is truly appreciated’ considers Lim. Rick Owens is another American in Paris, but his Paris internship is a lot longer.
Born in California, Owens picked Paris in 2003. because of the romance. ‘I could be successful in the US, but not like this. In Paris fashion still has that romantic, intimate side. In America, it is all a matter of status and efficiency’. In addition, Paris offers designers a better publicity because none of the editors, buyers and important clients does not want to miss Paris. New York lives differently, thinks differently, however, and fosters a different style. Paris is designers greater challenge, a stage where they can try their hand at artistic aspirations, instead of dealing with typical American style – commercial, sport, casual ideas for practical and casual audience. Should the CFDA be concerned about it? If the story does not fit in this, and New York remain without any big names, something will certainly have to change.