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The long-awaited New York Fashion Week: Men's officially kicks off today. To shed some light on how men finally ended up with their own fashion week, Steven Kolb, the CEO of the CFDA, which puts on fashion week, spoke with Redef about the new event.
Kolb reveals that the idea of a separate men's fashion week has been kicked around for a while. "When I started [ten years ago], I had many conversations with menswear designers, including John Varvatos, who always would say, “Why isn’t there a men’s fashion week?” Kolb told Redef. "There was always the question and the interest, but there was never really a groundswell to drive it and make it happen."
However, two years ago, the topic came up again and Kolb pulled together the menswear equivalent of the Justice League: GQ's Jim Moore, Esquire's Nick Sullivan, Eric Jennings from Saks, Kevin Harder from Bloomingdales, and Bruce Pask from Bergdorf Goodman. Kolb and the team brainstormed the advantages of creating a fashion week for men.
The biggest reason for a men's fashion week was that the timing could line up with when buyers are filling their stores. "The [labels] that were showing during September or February, they’d already done their market and sales, so that was a big disconnect in the business," Kolb says. "It really was the industry — the designers, the editors, the buyers, the American designers, editors, and buyers — who asked for it."
The interest of tech companies in the industry also helped Kolb get the idea off the ground. Amazon, eBay, Google, and Intel are all backers of the new week, and Kolb believes its because tech companies want to be more stylish. "They have the mechanical coolness of how to make something that people want to use and desire, but they might not have the language of aesthetics," he says.
You can read the whole interview with Kolb here.