The Document staff salutes this year’s American hometown heroes, reminding everyone why New York will always be a fashion capital

Naysayers love to talk about NYFW as if it’s already dead. It feels as though the city has had so many iconic fashion eras that it simply couldn’t have any more, they whine. Or New York’s being greedy—give another city a chance! As it goes, NYFW has lost a bit of its identity in the past 10 years. London is known as the city of experimental young brands; Milan’s got heritage Italian swagger from brands like Gucci and Prada; Paris has tradition and construction from Chanel and Dior; Copenhagen surprises with sustainability and whimsy from newer brands Helmstedt and Wood Wood.

New York used to be known as the capital of the cutting edge, not only because of the city’s iconoclast if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere motto, but because it’s the foremost fashion capital in America, a western nation whose existence is—in an oversimplified manner—equal parts a settler project and a social experiment whose hypothesis is “what would happen if we endowed civilians with unlimited freedoms?” This is the only country that could have supported a young Marc Jacobs, working in the stockroom at Charivari; or Prabal Gurung, a Nepalese immigrant who began his journey at Parsons School of Design, perhaps the city’s foremost fashion program.

If we thought Jacobs and Gurung were in their prime in 2009, Fall/Winter 2024 goes a step beyond with a new cast of designers who are not only distinctly American, but distinctly New York. Heritage brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Coach paid homage to a city-slicking archetype whose personal style leans on preppy touches, like monogramming on bags and cardigan breasts. Young experimental brand Luar explored the aesthetic of the sassy metrosexual, with none other than Beyoncé sitting front row. Some might ask if NYFW is back—but did it ever really disappear in the first place?

3.1 Phillip Lim

Phillip Lim’s clothes are a product of what he calls the “unfiltered reality” of New York City. He designs them to be ready for all conditions, all events, and all moods. Lim launched his Fall/Winter 2024 collection alongside an immersive multimedia installation titled INTERSECTIONS, an immersive fashion installation located just off Canal Street and Broadway that featured four themed mises-en-scène: LIVE, LOVE, WORK and PLAY. The garments—among them a green snakeskin-patterned button-up and a brown two-piece smoking number—were artfully arranged alongside a series of glittering images and soundscapes, all of which coalesced into an impression of everyday life in the Big Apple. Lim’s designs, like the city itself, can be full of surprises. A row of straps and some added cargo pockets turned a skirt into deconstructed workwear. A plain knee-high boot got an eye-catching golden buckle and shining silver heel. And if last season deployed broader, more billowy silhouettes, things are a little narrower for fall. Though he studied economics in college, Phillip Lim found his way into fashion via working at Barney’s in California’s iconic mall, South Coast Plaza. It’s no surprise, then, that he takes such sustenance and inspiration from the “type of hope that only NYC can spring.” It’s a hope that keeps the designer on his toes.

Image credit: Don Ashby/FirstVIEW.

LaQuan Smith

On my rare ventures into FiDi, I can’t help but embody a brusk, virile, and mythologized version of the ’80s floor traders—I’m power-posing, gesticulating while on the phone, and speed walking. LaQuan Smith, in his Fall/Winter 2024 collection, channeled this same spectral memory of a now decidedly less vigorous, post-9/11, post-COVID, and post-digital Wall Street.

According to a press release, Smith “took inspiration from the unapologetic strength and glamor of female power brokers; from executives of ’80s Wall Street to the vixens of Studio 54.” Models planted their feet firmly on the runway—presumably late to some imaginary mergers and acquisitions meeting—in semi-NSFW office looks. Money became sexy and indelible, explicated in looks like a collared pinstripe bodysuit in brown leather, featuring a plunging neckline and legless lower half. A dress made of gold foil tiles left enough space between panels to allow glimpses of skin moving underneath. A suit jacket with hip cutouts was styled with no shirt and a cigarette. Luxe, opulent materials either clung to the body or revealed the wearers’ figures in their looseness. It was clothing designed not for the hot and rich, but rather for the wealthy and sexy.

Image credit: FirstVIEW.


Forty-one deceptionistas; some glossed in head-to-toe leather, like they were doused in petroleum jelly, others with an extreme shoulder line that sat way above the neck, all freakishly glamorous and distinctly Luar. But first, what is a deceptionista? Are they scammers, deviants, or bad actors? Not necessarily. According to designer Raul Lopez, they draw on the metrosexual—a straight man who flirts with interests archaically associated with women or gay men; say, a good manicure, or orange wine. The deceptionista is one of the relics of the early-aughts that has found some relevance in the internet’s recent obsession with queerbaiting. In that case, deception is up for debate. For an once-closeted Lopez, though, duplicity was a defense mechanism, since being metrosexual was easier than being gay.

There was no hiding this season. Lopez makes things so epic in their proportion, like a sheer shirt and trousers with sleeves and legs that jut out at the joints before gradually tapering toward the knuckles or ankles. Just as out-there were slabs of leather, bunched up and twisted like candy wrappers to wear as small tops or big belts—you decide. Among the experimental showpieces were the new Luar Basics, which included novel takes on sweats, ribbed tees, and denim separates. They were easy but as considered as any 20-step skincare routine. How’s that for the wardrobe of a new metrosexual?

Image credit: Isidore Montag.


Founded in 1941—a time when most families already owned cars—Coach’s logo is inexplicably a horse-drawn carriage. Since the brand’s genesis, they’ve committed to a certain nostalgic romanticism. For the brand’s Fall/Winter 2024 presentation, Coach once again drew on the platonic ideal of a bygone New York City.

Models walked down the runway swinging charms featuring the (devastatingly abandoned for a modern, soulless san-serif version) “I (heart) NY” logo, yellow taxi cabs, Lady Liberty, and other bits of NYC kitsch. Iconic Coach silhouettes, such as the shearling jacket and trench coat, were made from recycled—or COACH (RE)LOVED®, in the brand’s terminology—fabrics. Creative director Stuart Vevers explained in a press release that he “was inspired by the city as a setting for love stories old and new, the tension between the romantic and picturesque and the real and spontaneous that is unique here.”

Contemporary renditions of the ever-sentimental “Moon River” played, bouffant fairy-tale skirts exploded out from underneath slouchy hoodies, and formal dinner jackets were ridiculously oversized for a simultaneously cartoonish and downtown, devil-may-care effect. Rather than simply updated takes on classical motifs, the styles were closer to memories of yesteryear’s fashions distorted by present-day, rose-colored, and mildly sexier glasses. Deftly drawing on the NYC memorized in both The Age of Innocence and Gossip Girl (original and reboot), Coach crafted a compelling love letter (many models also carried personalized postcards) to the city’s sartorial legacy.


It’s only natural that Joseph Altuzarra’s Fall/Winter 2024 collection veers into a headier kind of nostalgia. This season’s runway marks 15 years for the French-American designer’s eponymous label, feted last week on a stripped-back catwalk situated on the 14th floor of the Woolworth Building in TriBeCa. The collection had Altuzarra sublimating his usual penchant for the unexpected detail in favor of highly structured garments with a straightforward elegance and utility. The press release referenced Altuzarra’s interest in things “collected, over time, passed from generation to generation,” which informed the collection’s duster jackets, tartan trench coats, cable-knit turtleneck sweaters, and slanted pillbox hats. Altuzarra even used, according to the show notes, seven different shades of ivory—as if each was at a different stage of fading. Some funky abstract-patterned dresses kept it lively, and the commedia dell’arte-inspired frills appeared plentifully around collars and cuffs. But everyday wearability was the goal. A graceful henley button-down shirt-dress in navy, with flared cuffs poking out, found the designer’s prior Hestia dress met with a touch of Pierrot-inspired flair, especially when paired with a simple black leather handbag. It was a touch just subtle enough to be charming but not mannered; in Altuzarra’s latest collection, nostalgia perfumes every look in the best way.

Image credit: Don Ashby.

Puppets and Puppets

In an almost funereal manner, Puppets and Puppets presented its last ready-to-wear collection this season. Designer Carly Mark turned the show into a swan song for her own personal style. Tights were understated in semi-opaque colors like army green, hoodies were slashed around the neckline for an I wore this so much and now it looks like this feel, and dresses were tied on as if the models were all on their way to tie one off at some chic bar. Accessories played a significantly smaller role than they had in previous collections, a foreshadowing for the designer’s next big move: a migration to London, and a shift turning Puppets and Puppets into an accessories brand. Signaled by this season’s last ready-to-wear hurrah, if there’s one thing to understand about Mark, it’s that she’ll never stop; she’ll simply retool.

Tommy Hilfiger

Classic American is a hard to define aesthetic, and trying to explain it seems to only open up new questions rather than give answers. The archetype is all-encompassing yet ever-changing, a feeling rather than a look. No other designer can occasion this nebulous sensibility so clearly, so directly, as Tommy Hilfiger. This season, Hilfiger focused on the preppier aspects of his visual vernacular, presenting a wardrobe of relaxed tailoring and collegiate classics that braided uptown aspiration and downtown cool. In that spirit, the Grand Central Oyster Bar is a fitting show location, right outside the iconic train station.

The clothes were simultaneously easy and dressy, as the truest, most exemplary of American prep can be. Among the standout looks were a pleated ’50s-style swing skirt worn with cozy cable knit sweaters and corduroy blazers; a thigh-grazing rugby shirt whose single-button square cuffs extended much beyond the fingertips; and mini skirts with leather belts styled on the hips. Outerwear included long, slightly oversized coats in camel wool and gray herringbone, as well as chore and varsity jackets stamped with the letter H, for Hilfiger, of course. Long scarves and silk ties lent a handsome touch. It doesn’t get any more American than this.