John Elliott can’t get a second to breathe.

Backstage after his Fall/Winter 2016 runway show at Skylight Clarkson Sq in downtown Manhattan, John Elliott is being yanked in all directions. The designer is dressed chicly in a white-on-white-on-white hoodie, jeans, and Nike Air More Uptempos fit, topped with a backwards navy blue baseball cap. Although he’s not as tall as any of the models he employs, his striking hazel eyes, sharp jawline, and uneven lips, crooked slightly to the right, cut through the crowd. A mob of reporters and editors swarm him for quotes; photographers try to grab his attention to steal a quick shot; friends, buyers, editors, and celebrities—including Kith’s Ronnie Fieg, the designer Rob Garcia, Joey Bada$$, and teenage It-model Luka Sabbat—greet him with exhilarated hugs. Everyone is here for him.

And not only here, today, but all week long. Timed with the tail end of New York’s second dedicated men’s Fashion Week (the concept was relaunched in July of 2015), Elliott’s show has loomed over the previous days’ proceedings. It’s been a beacon of hope, a light at the end of the tunnel, and everyone is nervously awaiting something, anything, exciting to happen.