Even in digital format, Paris Fashion Week is only growing. American brands like Thom Browne, Reese Cooper, and Rhude populate its summertime menswear schedule, as do American designers like Rick Owens and Virgil Abloh. With the return of physical shows this September, the city has just added another stateside talent: Gabriela Hearst.
“We have become an international brand with most of our clients living outside of the US. That’s why in February 2018 we opened our showroom and home in Paris,” she wrote in a release. “When we started to assess with the team what the best course of action was to navigate the ever-changing landscape as a result of the pandemic, we realized that for many reasons it became increasingly clear that we will have to present in Paris from an environmental perspective and from a logistics and transportation perspective.”
By the brand’s calculation, showing the collection in Paris will reduce its carbon footprint—even though team members will have to travel from New York to Paris, shipping the collection from its factories in Italy to Paris will save on environmental impact. “One of our biggest carbon producers was the transport of our collection,” the designer says.
There’s also, of course, the sentimental reason for trading NYFW for PFW: “Above all, it is always a dream for any designer to show in Paris,” she continues.
Without Hearst’s show—often one of NYFW’s most well-attended events—the week’s three-day schedule of virtual shows is starting to feel a little thin. Marc Jacobs, the showman who famously closes out the week, is not producing a new collection. There’s no update as to whether Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren, two stalwarts of American fashion, will show either. It’s not necessarily all bad news: This could be a moment for upstart American designers to have their moments in the spotlight. As we’ve seen with the A Common Thread program, there are plenty of small, innovative, and promising designers that need more industry support. This year, they will likely get it.
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