A fashion week is a fashion industry event, lasting approximately one week, wherein fashion designers, brands or "houses" display their latest collections in runway shows to buyers and the media. These events influence trends for the current and upcoming seasons.
Some fashion weeks can be genre-specific, such as Miami Fashion Week (swimwear), Rio Summer (swimwear), the haute couture shows in Paris (one-of-a-kind designer originals), Indonesia Islamic Fashion Week (Moslem Fashion), Festive Wear at Bangalore Fashion Week and Bridal Fashion Week, while Portland (Oregon, USA) Fashion Week shows some eco-friendly designers. Bread and Butter Berlin hosts the leading fashion show for everyday fashion. There are primarily two kinds of shows: womenswear and menswear. There are also shows particular to each location. For example, there are "haute couture" shows in Paris, and in New York, there are "resort / cruise" and "bridal" shows.
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Although there are many notable fashion weeks around the world, only four are known as the "Big Four": Paris, Milan, London and New York.
Womenswear shows are held in February and September/october, in the following order: New York, London, Milan and Paris.
Menswear fashion weeks are held in January and June/july, in the following order: London, Milan, Paris, New York.
Florence, Italy also offers a menswear trade show in the form of Pitti Immagine Uomo.
Paris' haute couture shows take place in Paris in January and July. (Due to rules set down by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, haute couture can only be shown in Paris.)
More and more designers have shown inter-seasonal collections between the traditional Autumn/winter and Spring/summer seasons. These collections are usually more commercial than the main season collections and help shorten the customer's wait for new season clothes. The inter-seasonal collections are Resort/cruise (before Spring/summer) and Pre-fall (before Autumn/winter). There is no fixed schedule for these shows in any of the major fashion capitals but they typically happen three months after the main season shows.
The most prominent fashion weeks are held in the fashion capitals of the world. Some of the most popular receiving the majority of press coverage would include New York, London, Milan, and Paris. Hong Kong, Japan, Canada, as well as other countries and important cities have important and popular fashion week events as well.
The concept of fashion week began in Paris, when marketers would hire women to wear couture items in public places, from racetracks to salons. These parades (parade is "défilé in French) gradually began to become social events of their own. In French, runways shows are often still called "défilés de mode" which literally means "fashion parades".
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