It used to be that designers showed clothes at Fashion Week to court the influential few, mainly the buyers and fashion editors who determined what styles would be hot in retail stores a season away.
But now they are starting to sidestep the middleman. Web technology, and a desire to entice luxury shoppers who are suddenly spending again, are spurring designers to fling open the tent flaps to their runway shows and appeal directly to shoppers.
Call it public-access high fashion.
In this fall’s women’s runway shows, which started Thursday with New York Fashion Week and continue throughout the next month in London, Paris and Milan, shoppers at their keyboards will have a front-row seat.