Tom Ford is switching things up again. After taking his show to L.A. during Oscars season in February, and showing his last collection via a music video, starring Lady Gaga, in October, Ford is once again skipping out on London Fashion Week. This February, he will be showing in New York.
But it will not be the same extravagant, star-studded affair he put on in L.A. — rather, Ford plans to present both his fall 2016 womenswear and menswear collections in "small, intimate presentations" on the final day of New York Fashion Week, Feb. 18. Ford has shown in New York in the past — in fact, he debuted his womenswear line here in 2010 — but this is the first time he is showing both collections in New York together. (Showing womenswear and menswear simultaneously has become increasingly popular with designers as ideas about gender become more fluid.)
In a statement, Ford explained why he has been experimenting with different show formats:
When I began my own company I wanted to create clothes with the highest level of workmanship and attention to detail. Pieces that a customer would keep for life. This is one of the reasons that I launched my women’s collection in a small presentation in New York, where the audience could experience the clothes up close. In previous seasons, I have presented the collections in my London showroom to the press in an informal format that allows me to speak with journalists while they view and touch the clothes. As we all know, the way in which we show clothes, not only to the press, but also to the consumer, is changing. Right now, I think that a certain fluidity is necessary in regards to how we communicate with the consumer, and I have experimented with different formats recently. The most important thing to me with a presentation is that it communicates the message of the season and the point of view of the collection. Next season, it feels right to return to a format that is intimate and shows the detail of the clothes. The intimacy of small presentations affords that. We launched our first women’s collection in New York in 2010 and opened our first store there in 2007. I am very excited to present both collections in New York.
Ford, of course, isn't the only one questioning the current show system — the New York fashion industry's governing body, the CFDA, is, too. Ford also noted that the American market has become "increasingly important," with stores opening in Houston and Miami this year, and one in Atlanta slated for Feb. 2016. They will join Ford's existing flagships in New York, Las Vegas, Beverly Hills, Dallas and Chicago.