Another day, another designer announcing an official departure from the fashion calendar. This time, it’s Michael Kors, a longtime pillar and an influential player in the New York fashion industry.
On Monday, the designer revealed he won’t be presenting a Spring 2021 collection as part of New York Fashion Week in September (which, as of now, is still on, despite Covid-19 concerns). Instead, he’s opting to host a presentation some time between mid-October to mid-November. He’s also cutting pre-collections, thus streamlining production to just spring and fall for Michael Kors Collection.
In a statement provided to Vogue, Kors said: “I have for a long time thought that the fashion calendar needs to change. It’s exciting for me to see the open dialogue within the fashion community about the calendar — from Giorgio Armani to Dries Van Noten to Gucci to YSL to major retailers around the globe — about ways in which we can slow down the process and improve the way we work. We’ve all had time to reflect and analyze things, and I think many agree that it’s time for a new approach for a new era.”
Kors has been a marquee of the New York Fashion Week calendar for decades; in recent years, his show has historically opened the final day of runways in the U.S.’s fashion capital. Now, he’s joining brands like Saint Laurent and Gucci internationally in not just questioning the efficacy of the show schedule as it stands, but proposing an alternative that feels more appropriate for his business.
Like many aspects of fashion in 2020, this decision was, in part, a result of the ongoing global pandemic, Kors told Vogue: With stores shut down for months, the brand is sitting on unsold inventory, and production for Fall 2020 — which debuted in February — was delayed (and thus, so was delivery). Moving his Spring 2021 debut will allow more time for the customer to experience his autumnal line, he explained.
“Prior to the late 1990s, the New York spring collections were shown from late October to the beginning of November, after the Paris collections,” he said to the magazine. “That calendar was in place for many decades and worked quite smoothly, and particularly in this age with the speed of social media, showing the collection closer to when it will be delivered makes logical sense to me.”