Heavy-hitter of high-end fashion

New York Fashion Week, the undisputed heavyweight champion of fashion shows, is a chance for designers to showcase their new collections to store buyers and the media. This time around, the event is much bigger. In 2012, there were 270 fashion shows for New York Fashion Week. For 2016, there are only 147 designers on the official schedule of shows. Even so, the event still attracts the biggest models, designers, and industry professionals for a full nine days of events, shows, and parties.

There will be nonstop action all week, with most days featuring shows from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Most shows are reserved for industry buyers and the press, with no public access.

However, there are still events open to the casual fashionista, including Stello Official, Catch Michelle, Hallie Sara, Mimi Tran, and Charles and Ron.

Of course, the big-name designers will be there, including Ralph Lauren, Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs, Carolina Herrera, Diane von Furstenberg, Michael Kors, Vera Wang, and Tommy Hilfiger (along with Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s son Jaden as the new face for Louis Vuitton). While Jaden is a grown man, serious concerns are raised when children (in particular girls) are pushed into modeling at an early age.

Bloggers and Uber getting in on the fashion

There's also a huge influx of bloggers this year, mainly because they're working for themselves and can give a point of view that magazine editors can’t. Bloggers can also report on the events as soon as they happen online, while an editor may have to wait a month or more for his story to be printed.

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This year, Uber is giving “style packs,” swag bags with designer items. Uber customers from Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn can go to Uber’s website between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on opening day (Thursday) to request one. You must enter the code “FINDNYFW” on Uber’s promotions tab on the site. The bags will have items like a $200 Theory gift card, hats, sunglasses, scarves, and backpacks from various brands including Totokaelo, Theory, Jonathan Simkhai, Edie Parker, and Alexis Bittar.

Lyst (the English e-commerce startup company that's sponsoring the bags) is calling the promotion, "I’ve got clothes in different area codes.”  They did not disclose how many bags would actually be available, but said they will be given away on a lottery basis throughout the four-hour window.

The event is expected to draw 230,000 attendees and generate $900 million. New York Fashion Week shows run from February 11th – 18th.