Fashion week happens twice a year in the major fashion capitals of the world: Paris, Milan, New York and London. Fashion weeks are held several months in advance of the season to allow the press and buyers a chance to preview fashion designs for the following season. From January through April designers showcase their autumn and winter collections. Fashion week for spring and summer is held from September through November. This is also to allow time for retailers to arrange to purchase or incorporate the designers into their retail marketing. The latest innovations in dress designs are showcased by renowned fashion designers during these fashion weeks, and all these latest collections are covered in magazines such as Vogue.
There are a few things you should note when getting your head around the seasons.
1. The two big seasons are S/S and A/W, I.e spring summer and autumn winter. These collections are showcased at the major fashion weeks six months prior to when they appear in store for the benefit of Buyers and Fashion Press. Buyers need time purchase the pieces they would like to stock at their respective retailers and the brand needs time to produce this stock. Even with the immediacy of online media, traditional media including magazines like Vogue and Harper's Bazaar have long lead times (three to four months), so the Journalists and Editors at these publications need access to imagery from the fashion weeks to include in the editions due out two months prior to the upcoming season.
2. Some brands/fashion houses drop a collection in June, months after S/S collections hit stores. This is called 'High Summer'.
3. In 2011, Singapore played host to the first ever Haute Couture Shows outside of Paris.
4. Resort/Cruise collections were originally created to cater for the wealthy who travelled south, to warmer climates, during the cooler months.
5. Pre-Fall collections sell well but don't attract much hype from the press. They are made primarily for fashion-fanatics who don't like waiting six months for the next addition to their wardrobe.
6. You'll often see celebrities wearing pieces from collections that aren't yet in store. This is the beauty of PR. Publicists work with the brands to create hype surrounding the collections during the six month period between the runway shows and the in-store dates. Pop culture and celebrity work well with fashion.
7. In 1943, Fashion Publicist Eleanor Lambert launched the first ever New York Fashion Week, known as 'Press Week'. Prior to this the fashion press held little or no interest in American fashion because it was believed the designers drew all of their inspiration from Paris. Lambert launched the event because the press could not go to Paris due to the Second World War. To this day, the fashion weeks start in New York, continue in London and Milan and finish in Paris.
This year the New York fashion week spring 2014 is underway, it started on the 5th of September and is ending 12th september
I hope this information is helpful, so that when you see summer collections or fall collections we don't start arguing about Nigerian seasons. Cheers