Fashion Week in NYC reaches beyond the runway

New York Fashion Week featured more than just runways and high fashion. The event presented a panel of influential people in fashion discussing relevant issues, such as sustainability and evolving beauty standards.

New York’s annual Fashion Week (NYFW) commenced on February 3 in NYC’s Spring Studios, with designers from all over the world presenting their craft all week long. However, NYFW demonstrates that the fashion industry’s impact reaches far beyond the runway.

NYFW presents a series called The Talks, where influential people in fashion share their takes on relevant issues in the world of beauty today.

The Talks presented a panel of interviews with 2019’s Miss Universe, Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, and Miss America called “The Evolving Standard of Beauty”. 2019 was a groundbreaking year for beauty and culture, as women of color claimed the four titles.

Cheslie Kryst, Miss USA, said on a NYFW panel, “I remember watching Kaleigh [Garris] win [Miss Teen USA]…I was like, ‘Oh, there’s no way that I can win. We’ve got this light-skin, beautiful, woman of color with curly hair. Why are they gonna crown another three days afterwards?’ And then they did!” Kryst continued, “I think that’s so exciting for people to see… that not only can there be one of us, there can be five out of five.”

Making history, these powerful women feel the effects of the changing beauty standard in the best way possible.

Another one of The Talks called “Less Is More” presented a theme of “conscious living is always in fashion.” The panel presents changes everyone can make to reduce waste and consume less for a more sustainable future.

Lauren Singer, CEO of Package Free, says, “[Package Free’s] mission is to make the world less trashy through selling products that help people reduce waste in their everyday lives.”

Singer lives a zero-waste lifestyle, accumulating only 16 ounces of trash in the last eight years. An inspiration to environmentally conscious people everywhere, Springer talks simple ways for every person to lessen their negative impact on the environment, specifically in regard to everyday beauty and hygiene products.

The Talks’ “Responsible Revolution” presents sustainability in a different light. Designer Phillip Lim is currently one of the top designers making a conscious effort to advocate for sustainability, specifically through the use of natural fibers.

On the panel, Lim expressed how he works to rid fashion of the idea that “to be sustainable you have to be perfect.”

“Without ever being explicit about [sustainability], nothing can ever change,” Lim says. “It’s about asking, ‘How do we balance doing what we love to do, [while] also making sure we protect and keep beautiful the home we all share?… How do we start right so that we have to correct less?’”

Amber Valletta, model leading force in sustainable fashion, shares what sustainability means to her in the modeling industry.

“I decided to match my values with what I was doing for a living,” Valletta says. “I went out and found sustainable designers [with] responsibly-made fashion.”

With the help of Vogue’s world-renowned Anna Wintour, Valletta found a designer she wanted to partner with. Valletta made it her goal “to prove that you could have style and substance.”

NYFW 2020 may be coming to an end, but it’s impact on beauty and fashion will be felt well beyond this week.