Fashion Week — Again? Overheard in Paris.

As we wait in the traffic the uber driver losing patience tries to soothe the wait with a huge sigh and french nonchalance by saying  “Sorry for the traffic… I dont know what is going on today…”  Aware of the situation I reply  “It’s just Paris Fashion Week”- to which he sighs even louder with his french disdain  “What is this – Again?!”

If you’re into fashion or not, let me break it down as someone who lives in a fashion capital. Nearly every other week it feels like our feeds are filled with runway news and cult viral fashion stunts and moments, just how many fashion weeks are there even? Is there a specific date you should avoid these fashion capitals or better yet, target them to be a part of the fashion buzz?

Photo by Jessica Bascou

Let us start by the basics, the two most important fashion months of the year, February and September. These two months represent the two main fashion seasons Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer. The main cities that host the fashion weeks are New York Fashion Week (NYFW),

London Fashion Week (LFW), Milan Fashion Week (MFW) and Paris Fashion Week (PFW). Not exclusive to other main cities rising to the occasion such as Copenhagen fashion week (CPHFW), Miami (MFW), or even Hong Kong (HKFW).

The fashion month calendar starts in February and presents Fall/Winter collections of the upcoming year. New York City launches the fashion month and is followed by London, Milan and Paris. Those are the big ones to know. The same sequence happens in September with the difference being the collections they show represent Spring/Summer Collections. Simple enough. 

So why does It seem like every other month there is a new fashion show or défilé? Well, because we also have Haute Couture Fashion Week, Men’s Fashion Week and Cruise collections.

Haute Couture Fashion week

Photo by Nicolas Ladino

Haute Couture Fashion Week is typically held twice a year and showcases the most exclusive and high-end fashion creations from renowned couturiers and fashion houses.

Spring/Summer Haute Couture Fashion Week: event is usually held in January and features collections for the spring and summer seasons of the same year. 

Fall/Winter Haute Couture Fashion Week: This event is typically held in July and showcases collections for the fall and winter seasons of the following year.

Haute Couture Fashion Week usually happens in Paris, France, and is known for its exquisite craftsmanship, luxurious fabrics, and one-of-a-kind designs, often made to measure for individual clients. It is highly exclusive, with a select group of fashion houses designated as official members of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, the governing body of haute couture in France.

Men’s fashion Week

Photo by Mariya Georgieva

Men’s Fashion Week is held twice a year, same as all the other fashion week’s, showcasing the two fashion seasons and latest men’s fashion collections as we know. 

Fall/Winter Men’s Fashion Week: typically held in January featuring only men’s collections as it rolls into the fashion month of February showing men’s fashion collections within the main women’s Fall/Winter shows for Fashion Month.

Spring/Summer Men’s Fashion Week: usually held in June and July, presenting collections for the spring and summer seasons of the following year. This fashion week does not however roll into women’s fashion month held in September.

Cruise Collections

Photo by Mikita Yo

Cruise collections also known as resort collections, are typically held and released by fashion designers and luxury brands twice a year. These collections are designed to bridge the gap between the traditional fashion seasons of spring/summer and autumn/winter. The two types are:

Resort collections: usually unveiled to the public between May and June and often showcased in exotic or vacation destinations to align with the idea of resort wear. The timing of these collections allows fashion houses to cater to customers planning their winter getaways and vacations. 

Pre-Fall Collection: serve a similar purpose to resort collections, are presented between November and December. These collections offer transitional pieces that can be worn as the weather begins to cool down, bridging the gap between summer and fall fashion.

Photo by Molly Mears

In conclusion, and highlighted by calendar,  January starts with Haute Couture week in Paris,  followed closely by men’s fashion week that rolls into February’s joining women’s fashion month in the four capitals: New York, London, Milan and Paris and showcasing Fall/Winter. 

First Resort Collection shows appear in May and June, followed by Men’s fashion week Spring/Summer in June, July and September holds the Women’s Spring/Summer Fashion Month. November and December hold the Pre-Fall Cruise collections.

Even if this englobes the main fashion week calendar the fashion industry continues to evolve and diversify, leading to the emergence of specialized fashion weeks and events that cater to a wider range of styles, niches, and interests within the world of style and even in the world of art. These upcoming fashion weeks can be held along the year, even if not as widely recognized or standardized as some main fashion weeks. We can already see the Sustainable Fashion Week, Plus-Size Fashion Week, Bridal Fashion Week, Children’s Fashion Week, Lingerie and Swimwear Fashion Week,  Streetwear and Urban Fashion Shows,  Emerging Designer Showcases, Ethnic and Cultural Fashion Weeks Digital and Virtual Fashion Weeks.

Author Tanny Onsalo

 As Creative director, fashion forecaster and style consultant, Tanny has worked for the magazine Vogue as Global Editorial Expert and led multiple global tentpole editorials. She directed the fashion forecasting of trends for Vestiaire Collective, spearheading the Fashion Journal, Newsroom and annual fashion data reports. Fluent in the language of ideas, the fundamentals of her narrative are creativity, storytelling and global cool hunting.