Fern Mallis opens up about her fashion journey at Informa ‘Coterie’ trade show talk

Courtesy: Daniel Quintanilla
Courtesy: Informa Markets

Setting The Course

Last weekend on the first day of Informa Markets “Coterie” trade show at the Javits Center in New York City’s Hudson Yards, the first in 19 months after the COVID19 pandemic, “Coterie” held a conversation with Fern Mallis, an industry Godmother who’s spearheaded New York Fashion Week in what the industry knows it as even to this day.

Fern’s beginnings stemmed from the old Mademoiselle magazine where Fern planted her fashion footprint as a guest Editor before becoming a staff Editor, then moving onto the selling side of fashion at numerous businesses before starting her own Public Relations firm, which led Fern to head the CFDA where Fern was truly the one who shaped New York Fashion Week to new heights.

Courtesy: Informa Markets

Fern came up with the idea of having as many designers as possible gather in one big place, turning to Bryant Park to achieve this vision, seeking out sponsorship from all key places to achieve for the first-time ever that New York Fashion Week had corporate sponsors, opening up more opportunities for NYFW to show off to the press what was trending in fashion for one given season, New York Fashion Week would eventually be bought out by IMG and Fern stayed on after NYFW changed hands.

One important day that Fern truly led the charge of NYFW at Bryant Park was September 11, 2001, knowing instantly when the second plane hit World Trade Center that we were under a terrorist attack, and stopped models from walking the runway on that day and in the days to come, also telling press to take off their stilettos, and go out on some sneakers instead to cover another story, and many stories and tragedies played out on the day of 9/11/2001.

Once New York Fashion Week wrapped up its time at Bryant Park before moving to Lincoln Center in 2010, Fern thought it was a perfect time to move on and take a year off, which led Fern to her next adventure in interviewing notable designers with 92Y, which will resume in-person events soon following a hiatus thanks to COVID19, and will also be live-streamed.

Courtesy: Patricia Ann Parenti

And in a brief moment after the the conversation with Fern Mallis, Daniel plus Lauren asked how we can move forward in the fashion industry, it all comes down to fashion being more sustainable, putting in the work to achieving sustainability.

Daniel Quintanilla

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