Getting Ready for #NYFW and a New Wave of Celebrity Collections

Welcome to Now You Know, InStyle Fashion News Director Eric Wilson’s column that will help you become a fashion know-it-all in one easy read. Each week, he’ll take a look at an endearing fashion influence and why it’s relevant right now. Enjoy!

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Labor Day is just around the corner, which, in the fashion world, is traditionally celebrated by opening a ton of invitations to runway shows. Oh, don’t feel too sorry for us. If you’ve been following many designers on Instagram these days, you would be hard pressed to name one who is not currently cruising the Mediterranean, even though their spring collections are due to be shown starting in just over two weeks.

But turning back to my inbox, I notice a little trend taking shape among the invitations, at least for New York Fashion Week. This season, as it happens, will see a sharp upturn in celebrity-designed collections, more coming at once than we’ve seen in some time. Still, it’s a far cry from the good old days of Bryant Park, when Jennifer Lopez, Sean Combs, and Gwen Stefani showed their collections under the tents. But a new group of celebrities are now making their mark on fashion, and it’s time to take note.

I, for one, have been excited about the arrival of the new lifestyle brand called ED, from Ellen DeGeneres, whose style influence has generally been underappreciated. Long before cool urbanites were wearing sneakers with suits and T-shirts, DeGeneres had pioneered that look. Her collaboration with GapKids was recently unveiled with a positive message, as well, supporting a social movement to empower girls. And DeGeneres will also be on hand at fashion week, at Bergdorf Goodman, no less, where she will introduce her home décor line and women’s ready-to-wear collections.

Also back on the calendar is the Serena Williams Signature Statement showing of the tennis pro’s fall collection for HSN on Sept. 15. She’s a season behind the rest of the fashion world, but who can blame her? She's busy! Williams was just named to the top seed at the U.S. Open, where she will also be playing in the Serena Greatness collection she designs for Nike. On Sept. 16, the Adam Levine Collection is slated to be shown by Kmart. On Sept. 17 comes the Kristin Cavallari by Chinese Laundry show, which is a full week after Lauren Conrad will have debuted her new collection for Kohl’s, called LC Lauren Conrad Runway. Even Carrie Underwood is planning a presentation of her fitness collection, Calia by Carrie Underwood, that she designs for Dick's Sporting Goods, which will surely keep busy editors in shape.

Who can keep up?

I'll tell you who. No fashion week would feel complete without an appearance from the woman who is possibly the most successful celebrity fashion designer of all time. I am talking about Jessica Simpson, whose branding empire has been reported to generate $1 billion in annual sales. And this will undoubtedly be her season, when Simpson celebrates her 10th anniversary with a glam shindig at Tavern on the Green. The dress code? “Black, white, and gold.”

Consider me rsvp’d.

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