"Go west, young man!"
Americans might have heard that phrase in the 19th century as a call to move to California, but it turns out 21st century fashion designers are taking that advice right now, too.
Some are foregoing the runways of New York and Paris to show in SoCal.
"Designers like Tommy Hilfiger and Rachel Zoe skipped NY Fashion Week altogether!" says Michelle Dalton Tyree from Fashion Trends Daily.
Hilfiger made a splash at the Santa Monica Pier a few months ago with a show that included fire dancers and hula hoopers for over 3,000 guests.
Then last week, French label Dior made its L.A. runway debut with a show in the wilds of Calabasas surrounded by hot air balloons and festival-ready tents.
It's unusual since fashion week shows take place in cities like London, New York and Milan by tradition, not L.A.
They also happen in September and February, six months before the clothes wind up in stores, and in front of an audience mostly filled with the press and buyers for stores.
"But designers are hosting shows in L.A. specifically to get in front of customers," says Tyree.
Rebecca Minkoff, for example, had her first L.A. runway show at The Grove because California has one of the most dense fashion customer populations in the country.
It was designed to be a “See now, buy now,” event – meaning you could see a piece on the runway and then buy it right afterwards, no six month waiting period.
This trend of showing in L.A. picked up steam in 2012 when YSL designer Hedi Slimane shook up the fashion world by not only moving here but headquartering his design studio out of LA.
Then a couple of years ago, Tom Ford showed here right before the Oscars.
"It created a style snowball effect with other big names following their lead," says Tyree. "Showing outside the traditional fashion week calendar could ultimately translate to more eyeballs and sales, especially with designers who make the clothes available for purchase immediately."