Three emerging designers have decided that at this year’s New York Fashion Week, three is better than one. According to Vogue, Vaquera, CDLM/Creatures of the Wind, and Section 8 have decided to combine their fashion prowess into a triple-feature show on Monday, September 9, at 9 p.m.
The unusual move is practical — with a now shortened runway season, there are fewer slots for emerging designers to show — as well as uplifting, signaling a shift away from competition between emerging designers and a move toward collaboration. Regarding the decision, the designers of Vaquera told Vogue, “the fashion industry is notorious for pinning peers against each other and negative competition is not something that interests any of us. We all support each other’s work and have enough confidence in our own lines to know that our individual voices will be heard, even in a group context.”
As reported by Vogue, the idea to show together in a single time slot happened organically for these designers. The designers are all friends and found that it was a practical solution for a shortened Fashion Week (earlier this summer, the CFDA announced that it would be shortening the official calendar to six days). The labels will show right after one another, with a change in music signifying the switch between each designer.
Helmed by creatives Patric DiCaprio, Bryn Taubensee, and Claire Sullivan, Vaquera — known for exaggerating source material, such as school spirit–wear and “dry clean only” tags — has a palatable sense of fun and irony in their collections. Then there’s CDLM/Creatures of the Wind, which exaggerates basic fits, creating elevated staples that reference the ’30s to ’60s via slips, fake furs, and blanket scarfs. Finally, Section 8 pairs impressive tailoring with political messaging (their FW18 show cast all black models wearing blonde wigs and blue contacts).
“Putting on a show is expensive. As emerging brands, it’s not easy to keep up with established brands who have so many resources and access to funding,” the designers of Vaquera told Vogue. “It feels like there is no middle ground between established brands and young designers, especially in New York. We are currently working to secure funding for the show and we feel that presenting as one will help us secure sponsorship,” they continued.
Shane Gabier from CDLM/Creatures of the Wind added that the shift toward multi-designer shows is a more progressive way to think about the ever-changing traditional runway-show format. “We’re open to seeing what this could turn into,” Gabier said. “We’re already all friends, so it makes perfect sense in that way, and we’re all excited to rethink what has historically been a pretty straightforward system. It feels wide open for new ways of thinking at this moment, so we’re taking advantage of that.”
Are they worried that their designs will get lost in the triple-show format? Not at all. Section 8 designer Akeem Smith told Vogue that “all of us are sticking to our DNA. But the irony that a duo, a trio, and an ever-changing-tuplet are showing as one seemed kind of quirky too.”
We’re eager to see how this new format works and happy that the fashion world is erring toward collaborative efforts.
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue