NYFW and Celebrities: Why Some Designers Don't Want Them at Their Shows

Rihanna and Justin Bieber attended Opening Ceremony‘s Spring 2014 show, while Kanye West was front and center at Hood By Air, and Nicki Minaj caused a media frenzy for sitting next to none other than Anna Wintour at Carolina Herrera.

Though we’re pretty certain the publicists at these brands are patting themselves on the back for filling the front row with such top-brass names, an article published by the Associated Press points out how some New York Fashion Week designers are deliberately eschewing celebrities this season.

For his part, Oscar de la Renta told WWD he’s confining his guest list to individuals who have a professional reason for being at the show so as to allow them to see the clothes up close without distractions from large crowds. And typically one to invite numerous celebrities to his show, Tommy Hilfiger said on Monday he wanted to redirect the attention back to fashion.

Backstage before his show, he told the AP, ”I don’t like the drama in the fashion world. I like to do our thing without the drama."

As for celebrities-turned-designers like Victoria Beckham, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and Katie Holmes, the article notes how they’re focusing less on courting fellow celebrities and paparaazi, and more on gaining the approval of influential editors, stylists and retailers.  For instance, Holmes and her partner Jeanne Yang invited zero photographers with the exception of one house cameraman, and only a few dozen editors and stylists for an intimate showing at a gallery in Chelsea.

This notion of focusing more on the fashion itself without the surrounding hoopla harks back to Eric Wilson‘s recent thought provoking piece in the New York Times debating whether New York Fashion Week is losing its relevance by virtue of becoming too mainstream.

In a recent post, we too discussed how there’s been a noticeable lack of buzz surrounding fashion week this season that’s likely due to the prevalence of digital media, as well as publicity-hungry street style stars stealing thunder from the collections. Though we think the presence of paparazzi-wielding celebrities with no real connection to the brand can indeed detract from the clothes, we love seeing stars turn out in support of designers they actually wear, like Jessica Paré at Jason Wu or Ashley Greene at Donna Karan.