Stylebook Snapshot / Fast facts about Fashion Week

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For the fashion world, it's the most wonderful (and frenetic) time of the year.

No, not the holidays ... New York Fashion Week.

It kicked off Thursday with a full roster of runway shows and presentations at Lincoln Center, the home for events under the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week umbrella. Across the city, hotel suites, piers, rooftop terraces and galleries will be transformed into makeshift showrooms. The fashionable festivities previewing looks for next spring and summer wrap up Thursday.

But what exactly is Fashion Week (besides the holy grail for designers on "Project Runway")? Here are some facts, compliments of Yahoo! News and other sources:

It all started in the 1940s: The first New York Fashion Week was called Press Week. It was a chance for industry insiders to preview what looks designers had in store for the upcoming season.

It happens twice each year: In September, fashion writers and editors, bloggers, retailers, buyers and celebrities see what styles designers are working on for spring of the next year. In February, trends for the next fall and winter are highlighted. Seeing styles this far in advance gives buyers and fashion journalists a chance to plan what they may want to stock in stores or feature in fashion spreads in the coming months.

It attracts thousands of people -- and millions of dollars: Thousands of journalists and others with ties to the fashion world descend upon the Big Apple for the eight-day event. The boost in tourism results in a boost to the local economy. Past reports suggest that these visitors help generate more than $440 million for New York City.

Runway shows take months to plan -- and only a few minutes to execute: Designers spend months creating the looks, casting the models, picking the stylists, gathering the music and making out guest lists for their shows. But the runway show itself typically lasts between 10 to 20 minutes.

Hundreds of cities have Fashion Weeks: Not every city's Fashion Week is the star-studded, multimillion dollar spectacle that New York's is, but they are celebrations of their cities' fashion community all the same. For instance, Pittsburgh will hold its fourth Fashion Week Sept. 23-29.


Sara Bauknecht: or @SaraB_PG.


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