May 12: 2021: It’s no secret that COVID-19 hit the fashion industry hard. As a result, a bevy of successful brands was forced to close their doors and halt production. To support U.S. retail as the industry gets back on its feet, IMG (the owner and producer of New York Fashion Week: The Shows) announced that it’s teaming up with Afterpay as its official partner for the September 2021 shows. Supermodel Paloma Elsesser unveiled the news during a press conference this morning, alongside Nick Molnar, CEO of Afterpay, and Leslie Russo, SVP of Global Sales at IMG.
The partnership with Afterpay serves to spotlight emerging and established American designers, so that fashion lovers are extra-inclined to add new fresh-from-the-runway pieces to their closets. Perhaps you’ve already heard of it via its enticing motto: “Buy Now, Pay Later.” What that means is that instead of paying in full, shoppers make payments in installments over a six-week time frame. Customers will be able to experience the technology for the first time for LaQuan Smith’s show (who we’re excited to see returning to fashion week after a brief hiatus).
Ahead of the global pandemic, New York Fashion Week struggled for years. Many designers voluntarily show in locations such as Paris and Milan instead. With this alliance, Altuzarra and Thom Browne will invariably return to NYFW in September after three years showing in Paris. Brandon Maxwell, Jason Wu, Markarian, Monse, Prabal Gurung, Proenza Schouler, Rodarte, Sergio Hudson, and Telfar will also make up this group. Per IMG, the company will also “support designers’ NYFW endeavors, providing financing, content, and production support to aid them in bringing their creative visions to life each season.”
Needless to say, this comes with a promise; each designer has pledged to unveil their upcoming collections in New York through 2022. In exchange, IMG has generously committed to a fund and aid the talented designers’ shows and events. After a year-long slowdown with designers presenting primarily through digital activations, it’s hard to contain our excitement for this upcoming season…and the prospect of actually getting dressed up for shows again.