New York Fashion Week, at any season, brings upon an energy of anticipation and expectation of and from shows to be a blend of breath-taking and socio-politically vocal in some way. On top of that is the pressure to perfect a garment and complete a cohesive collection and, more often than not, the pressure to sell their brand to a consumer constantly looking for something new with a message and a chic undertone.
As this season’s fashion week commences, it’s crucial to know all the designers paving their own paths as they embark on the harsh territory and realities of the fashion industry. Not many know the plight of the Black designer at times and the everyday rhetoric that is actually said about Black designers in this space. It can be discouraging, but thankfully fashion is trying to change its ways slowly but surely, as some of the top and most talked about designers are Black. Consumer support has also been growing daily as Black designers receive more visibility than ever before.
The CFDA has announced its New York Fashion Week calendar for Fall/Winter 2023, and some names on this list may be familiar, like LaQuan Smith and Heron Preston, but a few others are still on the newer side, and that’s the beauty in this season’s fashion week—the newcomers and all they have to offer. Brands like LaQuan Smith, a CFDA veteran on the calendar, and Heron Preston, who has shown in Paris but never in New York, to Bed On Water, who has been seeing great success with its recent Timberland X Jimmy Choo collaboration, there’s just so much talent that we can’t wait to see. Black designers are the future because they always use the past to learn, stretch themselves, and go above and beyond to create something meaningful, something bigger than themselves; art, history, or an embodiment of a feeling or experience. The throughline in these designers’ work is drive and determination more than passion; it’s a need to tell a story.
Take a look through these remarkable designers showing in early February.