Givenchy Brings Democracy to the Runway

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

French fashion house, Givenchy, will be making news this September when it shows its collection at NY Fashion Week: members of the general public will make up a large portion of the audience. Givenchy is working closely with the city of New York on this project; most of the 1200 tickets (820 of them) will go to real people and non-celebrities – registrants on a /first-served basis in partnership with, the City’s marketing office. And a portion of the tickets (240) will be set aside for students and faculty from local fashion schools. Chief executive officer of Givenchy, Philippe Fortunato, says that it is creative director, Riccardo Tisci, and his fascination with American culture that inspired the decision to show in New York: “Riccardo talks a lot about America as the origin of trends, very much looking at the streets,” he explained, emphasizing the influence of both youth and minority groups on such trends.

The date of the show itself, September 11th, is notable, and Fortunato is well aware of the meaning of this date to this city: “Of course we celebrate craftsmanship, of course we celebrate creativity. But we want to celebrate what’s behind that, a kind of purpose for the house, and a message of resilience. And a message of humility, because we have to remain simple throughout the big elements of life. Despite what happened, the strengths of the American people, the strengths of New York, are even stronger after 9/11 than before 9/11.”

For too many of us the fashion world feels like an exclusive place we can only view from a distance. So this chance to bring this otherwise closed world to the public is exciting. I’m buying it – actually, I really will try – to buy tickets! I will keep you posted …

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