It’s no surprise that New York Fashion Week looks a little different this year. It only takes a quick glance at the schedule to discover that the majority of shows will be live streamed, with a few timed lookbook releases and even fewer offsite shows in the mix too. So, in lieu of a typical season, designers are thinking outside of the box. As just one example, take Jason Wu, Rodarte, Prabal Gurung, LaQuan Smith, and AARMY— all of whom have each designed limited-edition pieces in a new shopping-focused initiative called NYFW: The Drops, launched in collaboration with IMG.
“Living through a pandemic has been really challenging for all of us, but I am so proud of the creativity I’ve seen and how the industry has really come together during this challenging time to support the fashion community,” designer Jason Wu tells Vogue. “I think it is vital that New York Fashion Week is represented.” In a year with so much isolation and continued uncertainty, there’s something special about having a see-now, buy-now opportunity for their fans and followers to bring a tangible piece of fashion week home.
Starting this Sunday, February 14th, each designer’s exclusive drop will be released on NYFW.com following their show or presentation. AARMY will be kicking things off on Sunday with an exclusive hoodie and bomber jacket, while on Monday, Jason Wu will release hoodies in special collaboration with Coca-Cola. Tuesday marks the release of a Rodarte and Virgil Normal loungewear collaboration, with Prabal Gurung and LaQuan Smith set to release graphic T-shirts on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
Here, each designer spoke with Vogue to share the backstories to their special New York Fashion Week drops—with all the information you need to get your hands on these limited-edition pieces too.
Trey Laird, the cofounder of AARMY’s workout-ready fitness line, tells Vogue: “AARMY always blends inspirations from both sport and street to bring a modern relevance to the classics.” To Laird, there’s an upside to this being the brand’s first New York Fashion Week, with as many people as possible being able to experience it digitally—a sentiment that rings true with the accessibility of the edgy bomber and hoodie the designer will be releasing on February 14 at 1 p.m. ET.
“Coca Cola is such an iconic American brand and I am so excited to be partnering with them,” Jason Wu tells Vogue. “I’ve had complete access to Coca Cola’s archives and it was really fun seeing the evolution of the brand over the years—you will definitely be seeing archival Coca Cola graphics and that signature red in my collection.” Shop the hoodies from February 15 at 11 a.m. ET, following Wu’s runway show the night before.
“Not being in New York for a year because of the pandemic, we are having such fond memories of our time spent with our collaborators and friends during New York Fashion Week, [so] we are doing a film that celebrates those moments and the people who have inspired us over the years,” Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte tell Vogue. Shop the range of loungewear from the collaboration between the designers from their Radarte collection and Virgil Normal from February 16 at 12 p.m. ET, right after the release of their film.
“Our design features a print inspired by the bodega rose, a sentimental motif from my summer in New York City where I witnessed a revolution of self-expression and a unified resistance for a better and more hopeful future,” Gurung shares with Vogue. “The way we will heal as a community is by being our most unabashed and authentic selves—and I think this is true of fashion as well. This period in time has allowed designers the space to show their collections in whichever ways they feel best conveys the creative message. There is such beauty in that freedom.” Shop Gurung’s limited-edition T-shirt, featuring a romantic seasonal print, on February 17 at 12 p.m. ET.
“Following a year where casual and relaxed dressing has been the overarching trend, fall 2021 has been all about modern suiting and structured silhouettes which we wanted to incorporate into the design of our t-shirt for The Drop,” Smith tells Vogue. “The start of the season has me feeling nostalgic of the glamour of fashion weeks prior to COVID, but I’m excited to share what we’ve been working on—and hopefully to make a return to the runway very soon.” Shop Smith’s limited-edition graphic T-shirt on February 18 at 2:30 p.m. ET, following a special brand announcement and a preview of his fall 2020 lookbook.