Well, the answer of who the “official” LA Fashion Week is, probably depends on who you ask.
Back in 2010, a company called West Coast Management called itself the “official” LA Fashion Week. As you can see from this article in the LA Times, the event was cancelled abruptly, leaving a lot of disappointed designers and would-be attendees.
Between 2002 and 2008, Mercedes Benz (which also hosts “MB Fashion Weeks” in New York, Berlin, Miami and markets as diverse as Stockholm, Mexico and Japan), had a strong presence in Los Angeles, and during those years, one might have then considered those events the “official” LA Fashion Week.
More recently, the LA City Council has declared Style Fashion Week, recently moved to LA Live, the “official” fashion week. Although the quality of Style Fashion Week’s events in Los Angeles is indisputably high, the “official” designation may prove a bit perplexing to equally hard-working events during LA Fashion Week, such as The Los Angeles Fashion Council, who recently moved to The Grove. Not to mention CONCEPT Fashion Week (who have scaled back in 2013), LA Fashion Weekend, Men’s Fashion Week LA (recently joined forced with the CMC), fan favorite Project Ethos, Africa Fashion Week LA, not to mention the true industry trade shows held by the California Market Center.
All of this may beg the following question: What is LA Fashion Week, anyway?
[quote]What is LA Fashion Week, anyway?[/quote]
Probably we should begin with a larger question: “What is fashion week?”
People unfamiliar with the “Big 4” fashion weeks of New York, London, Milan and Paris are often surprised to learn that there is no single fashion week for any of these places. Fashion week is not a thing. It’s a time of year.
[quote]Fashion week is not a thing. It’s a time of year.[/quote]
Yes, undeniably there are strong presences in each market. In New York, Mercedes-Benz has the strongest and most visible presence. But Mercedes-Benz is not the “official” New York Fashion Week. In fact, there is no such thing. There’s also MADE Fashion Week, held during the same 8 days. And there there are various shows held all over New York, in museums, parks and galleries that have no affiliation to either Mercedes-Benz or MADE.
[quote]Mercedes-Benz is not the “official” New York Fashion Week. In fact, there is no such thing.[/quote]
In London, the largest event is held by the British Fashion Council. But there’s also a very prominent Alternative Fashion Week there.
Paris Fashion Week has traditionally been centrally organized by Mode à Paris, in conjunction with the Fédération Française de la Couture. But more recently, MADE Fashion Week has made inroads in Paris, as well.
And like New York and London, Paris Fashion Week as a temporal event is host to many independent shows throughout the 8 days in February and September.
[quote]Like New York and London, Paris Fashion Week is host to many independent shows throughout the 8 days.[/quote]
Milan Fashion Week, smallest of the Big 4 (and some say in danger of losing its status as a major fashion week destination), is perhaps the most tightly controlled (or perhaps lacks the popular appeal necessary to spur a large cadre of alternatives and independents).
If one rule has stood the test of time, it’s that competition is good. Good for businesses, good for economies, good for consumers.
[quote]If one rule has stood the test of time, it’s that competition is good.[/quote]
So who is the “official” Los Angeles Fashion Week?
Well, again, that depends on who you ask.
But ask most attendees, and they’ll tell you one thing: All they care about is a really great show.