New York Fashion Week, held in February and September of each year, is a semi-annual series of events (generally lasting 7–9 days) when international fashion collections are shown to buyers, the press and the general public. It consists of numerous branded events, including New York City Fashion Week, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York, and MADE Fashion Week, as well as numerous independent fashion productions around town. It is one of four major fashion weeks in the world, collectively known as the “Big 4,” along with those in Paris, London and Milan. Although these are the four most established, there are numerous smaller fashion events around the world.
The first New York Fashion Week (which was then called “Press Week”) was the world’s first ever organized fashion week. First held in 1943, the event was designed to attract attention away from the French fashion during World War II, when fashion industry insiders were unable to travel to Paris to see French fashion shows. Fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert organized an event she called “Press Week” to showcase American designers for fashion journalists, who had previously neglected their innovations. Press Week was a success, and fashion magazines like Vogue, which were normally filled with French designs, increasingly featured American fashion.