New York Fashion Week: social media, economy could influence trends

NEW YORK, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Big brands and emerging labels will present their new collections at New York Fashion Week, which kicks off on Friday, seeking to entice trend-followers with their latest creations and perhaps some viral moments.

From celebrity favorite Michael Kors to New York first-timer Heron Preston, more than 70 brands will be showcasing their autumn/winter 2023 designs around the city, according to the event's organizer, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).

At a time when social media is opening up once-exclusive catwalk shows to fashion followers around the world, brands will be seeking to stand out and create plenty of buzz.

In October, Parisian brand Coperni spray-painted a dress onto model Bella Hadid for its show finale.

"A lot of designers are really realizing that Gen Z and TikTok is very prone to weird items and that the weirder, the better," Frances Solá-Santiago, a fashion writer at online publication Refinery29, told Reuters.

"Designers are recognizing that there is importance and not just putting ... models down a runway but really trying to do something bigger.”

Among the highlights this season will be the return of designer and new CFDA Chairman Thom Browne from Paris. Brands Rodarte and Luar will open and close the lineup respectively.

Solá-Santiago said she expected to see a Y2K revival and the continued resurgence of nightlife attire as well as designers looking to social media trends for inspiration.

“There's a lot of niche TikTok aesthetics that are really emerging like #Cottagecore #Regencycore, #Balletcore," she said.

However, at a time when people globally are experiencing high inflation for everyday essentials, will designs reflect the reality of current times?

“Fashion is always really inspired by what's happening in the economic landscape, so there's also a lot of talk about how are designers going to react to inflation, to the impending recession," Solá-Santiago said.

"That's something that I'm very curious to look out because it's very interesting to see how fashion is impacting culture and how people are dressing for the times that we live in."

Reporting by Alicia Powell; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Jonathan Oatis

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