Fashion News Recap: Fashion Week Exclusivity and Online Shopping Woes

by Alyssa Sage, Fashion News Correspondent

The Lincoln Center, New York City
The Lincoln Center, New York City

Fashion Week Pushing for Exclusivity

Anyone planning to attend New York Fashion Week in February can expect to see a change in the dynamics of the event that biannually takes place at Lincoln Center.

Oscar de la Renta
Oscar de la Renta

IMG Fashion, which runs the renowned event, is planning to makeover the show in response to growing complaints by designers.  Going into effect this February, fashion show guests will likely see new venues and a more toned-down atmosphere.  The event was becoming unnecessarily cluttered with questionably-essential guests, and venues were essentially becoming outdated and too costly to rent out for the twice yearly event.

IMG Fashion Events senior vice president Catherine Bennett said the much-anticipated fashion spectacle is becoming an “exhausting period for our industry to effectively do business” and that the process “was becoming a zoo.”  In other words, changes could not have been implemented at a more opportune time.  If conditions persisted, designers would have likely been less patient with the situation.

Specific changes to NYFW include two updated venues on the Lincoln Center site and back-up, off-site venues.  The redesigned spaces now have new lighting technology and sound systems as well as a larger backstage area to allow more space for press interviews and VIP attendees.  The remodeled venues are intended to control audience size, making for a more intimate fashion show experience.

IMG is also pursuing changes in an effort to restore NYFW to the exclusive event it once was.  Passes are expected to be designated for bona fide fashion insiders to avoid a swarm of crowds laden with fashion bloggers, amateur photographers and those just hoping for their 15 minutes of fame at a noted fashion event, similar to the crowd composition of past years.

Another effort being made to cut back on unwanted guests is a stricter monitor of who lands on the coveted guest list.  Allegedly the guest list will be cut by 20% to narrow down to only the names which are “of value to the designers.”

Many changes to NYFW are being enforced in response to designer surveys anonymously conducted by IMG.  Designers like Oscar de la Renta have already taken it upon themselves to make dynamic changes.  Last year the designer transformed his larger-scale fashion shows into more intimate presentations and began limiting the guests on his invite list.

For prospective NYFW attendees, if your name doesn’t make the guest list cut, many of the shows and images of the designer pieces can be viewed online during fashion week.

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The Limited Days of Tax-Free Online Shopping

For those of us that seemingly fall victim to online shopping on a frequent basis, our days of reaping the joys of tax-free buys may be numbered.

Shoppers are increasingly becoming in favor of the ease afforded by e-commerce.  There’s something intensely satisfying about completing a successful shopping spree from the comfort of your home, especially during these bone-chilling winter months.

Along with not having to leave your cozy spot on the couch, online shopping also rids shoppers of coughing up taxes on their purchases.  Unfortunately, these blissful days could be coming to a close.

Many retail groups are noting the “unfair price advantage” afforded by many online retailers and they’re taking initiatives to level the playing field between e-commerce sites and traditional brick-and-mortar businesses.

There’s currently no federal legislation forcing shoppers to pay online taxes for their buys, but lawmakers are attempting to change laws at the state level to get online retailers to collect taxes from their customers.  There is a law that requires stores with a physical presence in a state to tax shoppers purchasing from that state, but this law is problematic since many online retailers lack a physical presence.

Not surprisingly, many lawmakers see the lack of imposing taxes as a missed opportunity for retailers to earn revenue.  In the unfortunate meantime we can stock up on merchandise from our favorite online retailers before we’re hit with devastating tax charges.

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