Times Square Fashion Week held its show during NYFW on September 12, 2023. In its fourth year, this year’s show featured Australian designers from down under, Yukon, Canada, and Tennessee in full frontal fashion from brands including Merci Dupre Clothiers with Envirem presented by Christina Rahm and DRC Ventures, Outer by Simone Z Leao, Teddy McRitchie Design by Teddy McRitchie and Yukon Indie designer Kaska Dena Designs by Natasha Peter. The show was hosted by NYC Philanthropist and socialite Jean Shafiroff and included keynote speakers Manhattan Borough President, Mark Levine, and Assembly Member (76th District) Rebecca Searight.
One of the media partners and a highlighted non-profit organization this year was Mind Your Fashion. I had the opportunity to speak with Founder/Director and Mental Health Advocate Jude Kingston, "Mind Your Fashion is on a mission to raise awareness and support mental health in the fashion industry. It was an honor to partner with Times Square Fashion Week to share our message on a global platform. Mental health challenges are on the rise in the fashion industry, and we have a corporate responsibility to ensure changes are made for the betterment of all who work in the industry. We will continue to take our messaging to the world and shine a spotlight on an issue that is as important to a business as profitability, ethical practices, and sustainability." You can learn more about Mind Your Fashion at mindyourfashion.net and follow them at @mind.yourfashion. Their next event is a High Tea and Fashion Show in Brisbane, Australia on October 15, 2023. Jude told me they will be back for Times Square Fashion Week in September 2024 as well.
I had an opportunity to learn a bit more about the designers’ collections. I spoke with Natasha Peter of Kaska Dena Designs. “The inspiration came from my Kaska Dena name ‘DenaSqwella’ which means moose skin scrapper and hard worker. I own my own business and take pride in the name. It was given to me by my great grandmothers. The colors of the collection are all my grandmothers’ favorites as well as favorites of mine.” Natasha was awarded the “Rising Star Award” at the event. The collection was a blend of tradition with modern style.
You can follow Kaska Dena Designs at @kaskadenadesigns.
I also had the opportunity to speak with Teddy McRitchie of Teddy McRitchie Design who told me, “The collection was titled ‘Kaleidoscope.’ I was inspired to create a collection that was full of color, texture, and structure. I used recycled bike tubes and heat-distorted organza. The styles of the gowns reflected some of my favorite designers from around the world.” Teddy McRitchie and Simone Zarpelon Leao received the “I Love NY” award at this year’s event. You can follow Teddy McRitchie Design at @teddymcritchiedesign.
Another featured designer at the show was Merci Dupre Clothiers with Envirem presented by Dr. Christina Rahm. Regarding the collection Christina said, “I named the Collection after my children. It is not just about clothing and fashion. The main mission of the Collection is around the health and evolution of our species. This year the collection is very high end and couture. . . [yet] it is a travel collection and clothing that protects you at the same time.” Dr. Rahm received the Sustainable Fashion Award. The collection featured eco-friendly materials. You can follow Merci Dupre Clothiers at @mercidupreclothiers.
And the final highlighted designer at the show was Outer by Simone Z Leao. The designer shared, “Outer is inspired by the tension between the uniqueness of the individual and the collectiveness of the society and the environment in which they are immersed. My designs come to life as a response to my own textured textiles, following an unconventional sculptural process of garment construction. . . Outer creates exquisite, elegant, and comfortable garments to enhance a person’s personality.” You can follow Outer Art Studio at @outerartstudio.
Times Square Fashion Week™ originally made history in 2020 by Dee Rivera of DCG Public Relations/DCG Media Group (@dcgpublicrelations) and her vision to turn the famous Father Duffy Square Red Stairs into a symbol of the changing landscape of New York Fashion Week. 2020 was a defining year for the fashion industry. But now, New York has moved forward in its comeback. This year’s in-person show showed just how far we have come since covid times. Over 10,000 people were in attendance. The show provided an opportunity to discover new collections while ensuring Times Square Fashion Week is open to all designers and highlights diversity and inclusion at NYFW. To learn more head to www.timessquarefashionweek.nyc and follow @timessquarefashionweek.