Do you think that fashion lives only in Paris, New York in Milan? While many top labels choose to show in these cities, there are thriving designers and brands that have a community all over the world. The Museum at FIT recently held a symposium covering global fashion capitals powering the style industry today to accompany their recent museum exhibit.
The showpiece of the event was a runway show featuring international designers. Marina Hoermanseder of Berlin, Richard Seco of Mexico City, Lisa Folawiyo of Lagos, Arzu Kaprol of Istanbul and Lie Sangbong of Seoul showed their collections on the stage.
The symposium covered the history of immigrants who worked in fashion manufacturing to international locations that inspire trends, technology, branding and culture that moves the fashion industry to global fashion bloggers influencing today's style. Students were able to learn more about working and living in the different fashion capitals from representatives who do just that.
The exhibit itself showed notable designers represented cities throughout fashion history and the eras that each city started making a global impact in influence. Think Charles Worth putting Paris on the map as one of the first named "fashion designer" as opposed to a tailor or seamstress then Coco Chanel in the 1920s pioneering sportswear for women. There was the 1930's for New York where career wear, sportswear really flourished with 7th avenue. London captured the world's attention with punk and the youthquake movement with designers like Vivienne Westwood. The 1970's was all about Italians, the 1990's Antwerp and Tokyo.
With so many cities producing great collections, designers have more opportunities and more options than ever in where they do business. I'm seeing more designers returning to hometowns or bringing their home cultures into their brands. Wherever you find inspiration, the fashion world can follow.