Get All Access for $5/mo

New York Fashion Week Is a Big Deal for Emerging Designers, Too As established brands strutted their stuff at the biannual event, young and emerging brands also had a chance to shine.

By Tanya Benedicto Klich

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

New York Fashion Week Is a Big Deal for Emerging Designers, Too
Front row & center at Jungwon Fall 2014
Image credit: Tanya Klich

Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week (NYFW) offered a peek into this year's fall trends and a glimpse at celebrity style icons in their finest. But it also gave the world an opportunity to discover emerging fashion designers. These budding artists, after all, may be the future executives of tomorrow's global luxury brands. (Not everyone gets their start as a Princess Diane of Fürstenberg.)

Throughout New York City, smaller designers like Christina Yi, Riza Manalo and Christian Benner debuted their looks. Also, the Council of Fashion Designers of America revealed new collections from its Fashion Incubator graduates on Meanwhile, entrepreneurs hosted company launches all week to capitalize on NYFW's global crowd, while electronic companies like Panasonic glammed up their tech brand for a fully loaded Beauty Bar at Salon SCK.

New York Fashion Week Is a Big Deal for Emerging Designers, Too
Lisa Jackson with Vera Wang at the LJ Cross launch event
Image credit: Patrick McMullan

But what's NYFW without a runway show? We skipped the tents of Lincoln Center and headed straight to Pier 59 in Chelsea, where the Nolcha Fashion Show was in full gear. In its seventh year, Nolcha Fashion Week events give independent designers a share of the spotlight during a week dominated by Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs and other powerhouse brands.

How does a freshman designer survive among these titans? Nolcha's collective fashion shows saves on show production expenses, such as lighting, stagehands and makeup crew. Its business model is about cost-efficiency, communal support – and signing up luxe sponsors, who can reach Nolcha's trendsetting demographic of editors, bloggers and celebrities during the runway shows.

"Our shows are more cost effective for the individual fashion designers due to our collaborative environment and our globally recognized sponsor brands providing finance support," says Arthur Mandel, president of Nolcha.

Throughout the week, industry networking dinners and strategic partnerships for sponsored exhibitions give the budding designers full access to top-tier press, retailers and industry influencers. The Nolcha team also provides a full suite of social media and public relations support.

New York Fashion Week Is a Big Deal for Emerging Designers, Too
At the Panasonic Beauty Bar and Nolcha Fashion Show, companies glam up electronics for NYFW
Image credit: Tanya Klich

Most important, the various events give designers a crash course on establishing oneself as a high-end, luxury brand. "We teach fashion designers the valuable lesson of doing a runway show or presentation at industry standard and to the right audience," says Kerry Bannigan, who co-founded Nolcha with Mandel. "It's important when showcasing at a key time in the fashion market that the brands are professional to ensure brand awareness and growth."

The closing Nolcha 2014 show featured: Jungwon (designer men's and women's rain coats), Gabrielle Arruda (women's ready-to-wear), L. Catherine London (women's ready-to-wear) and Nina Athanasiou (women's and men's couture). The finale was Dany Tabet (jaw-dropping "crystal warriors' eveningwear) who, at the conclusion, took a teary-eyed bow.

Tanya Benedicto Klich

Data & Featured Lists Editor

Tanya Benedicto Klich is a data and lists editor at

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Side Hustle

Top Secrets to Starting a 6-Figure Etsy Side Hustle That Earns Passive Income, According to 3 People Who Did It

Etsy remains a popular ecommerce platfrom for sellers — and can be incredibly lucrative for those who know how to use it.

Science & Technology

The 7-Step ChatGPT Formula for Peak Productivity and Profit

With this powerful solution, you can take your productivity and profitability to new heights with ease.

Business News

SoftBank CEO Says AI 10x Smarter Than Humans Could Be Here in a Matter of Years

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son spoke to shareholders during the company's general meeting on Friday.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Amazon Is Thinking About Charging Extra for AI Alexa

"Hey Alexa, how much are you going to cost?"

Thought Leaders

10 Simple, Productive Activities You Can Do When You Aren't Motivated to Work

Quick note: This article is birthed out of the urge to do something productive when I am not in a working mood. It can also inspire you on simple yet productive things to do when you're not motivated to work.