Old clothes take center stage at New York Fashion Week

Sustainability hits the runway

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The Future. Although luxury brands usually push their new styles in September, over 35 brands at this year’s NYFW are making sustainability their trend of choice. That’s a big shift from the usual runway mindset… but it could be the beginning of changing the culture to treat vintage garments as heirloom pieces meant to be passed down and reworn rather than dropped off at consignment.

Vintage runway
A new movement called “Secondhand September” is fitting some stylish adherents at NYFW.

  • Diane von Furstenberg’s eponymous brand snubbed a traditional runway show, instead directing customers to her flagship store in Chelsea to buy secondhand pieces. 
  • Designer Ulla Johnson opted to curate a line of vintage pieces for sale at her Bleecker Street shop.
  • Madewell, Banana Republic, and Reformation have all tied up official partnerships with secondhand platform thredUP.

Meanwhile, a platform called Archive has been updating the thrift store concept, letting partnering companies (like The North Face, Cuyana, and Oscar de la Renta) earn revenue from e-commerce sales of secondhand pieces. It’s already proving successful — workwear brand M.M.LaFleur saw sales grow by 3% after partnering with Archive.

Old clothes. New customers.


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