Why Karen Walker is ditching New York Fashion Week

The Kiwi designer says New York Fashion Week is no longer a good marketing tool for her brand. Photo / Getty
The Kiwi designer says New York Fashion Week is no longer a good marketing tool for her brand. Photo / Getty

Designer Karen Walker has said she will no longer be taking part in the prestigious New York Fashion Week.

The Kiwi fashion maven told Australian media that due to the changing nature of marketing, the event no longer stacked up as an effective advertising tool.

The event is due to start in Manhattan later in the week, and it's the first time in a decade that Karen Walker won't be showing a collection.

The designer said the industry had changed so much that it no longer made sense to take part in the show, especially as customers could see the designs on social media, but would then have to wait six months to be able to purchase the garments.

"As a marketing spend, it just doesn't add up," she told The Weekend Australian. "The industry is very different to how it was 20 seasons ago. It's very different to how it was 30 seconds ago. There is so much available in the marketing toolkit now."

Walker spoke about how in the early days of fashion shows, buyers and media were able to describe the collections, but photographs and sketches of the garments weren't allowed.

"(Today) your end-consumer is seeing the looks on social media before the last girl has even left the runway," she said.

In today's digital world, Walker said there are more ways of showcasing a collection than just sending models down a catwalk.

The designer said she is now focusing on producing imagery for social media and online, creating smaller, transeasonal collections, holding events and working on various projects that are a good fit for the brand.

"It's important to show up in any business, and especially in this business," she said. "Ten years ago, doing shows was one of the few ways you could show up. Now there's a million different ways to show up, whatever works for your brand. It's about choice."


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