The Big Apple conducts New York Fashion Week biannually to showcase the best designers to set the trends for the upcoming season. This event gathers an audience of celebrities, influencers, fashion entrepreneurs, style enthusiasts, and the general public. The first ever South Asian New York Fashion Week (SANYFW) took place from September 8th through the 14th, giving South Asian designers and fashions center stage. Specifically showcasing bridal wear, traditional, streetwear, sustainability, menswear, and Indo-Western designs.
Shipra Sharma and Hetal Patel, co-founders of the SANYFW, have been working on this project for nine years to highlight South Asian fashion around the globe. Sharma states that “Lehengas turned into co-ord sets. Sarees turned into gowns with drapes. Palazzo pants became wide-legged pants. We want to reclaim that narrative and introduce the world to the origins of these silhouettes and designs.” Sharma wants to convey the history of South Asia to the public and desires for the fashion world to acknowledge the inspirations of many trendy designs stemming from cultures all over the world. Highlighting that credit needs to be given for these innovative designs, which have been overlooked for years.
Nomi Ansari and Mayyur Girotra, two prominent designers in the fashion world, headlined the event. Girotra captures the audience through his well-known intricate textiles decorating his traditional wear. The vibrant color palette and jewel embellishments are signature details of Ansari’s designs. Other well-known collections displayed include Rivesse, Margi, Bedi NYC, RKJ Designs, Ayla Noor New York, and more with jewelry by Avigna Fine Jewels and ReeMat Designs.
This history-making event also featured innovative technology to make it easier to shop for items seen during the runway shows and share them on social media. There was also a marketplace after the fashion show featuring vendors of jewelry, art pieces, florists, and clothing brands such as Sakhya, Aina, Verve and Vogue, and more. A health and wellness pop-up featured yoga activities and Ayurvedic learning, spreading the culture of South Asian through various means outside of the runway shows.
With the large and continuously growing population of South Asian descendants in the United States, the incorporation of South Asian designers allows for diversity in styles and an accepting environment for all. The efforts of Sharma and Patel to put together the first ever South Asian
New York Fashion Week will promote more diversity in fashion as well as culture, receiving the spotlight and support that has been long overdue. The South Asian Fashion Week in New York will hopefully create more inclusivity in various artistic fields to display the beauty of South Asia.
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