Buy now, pay later solution Afterpay will be the next multi-year presenting sponsor for New York Fashion Week (NYFW).
On Wednesday, the Australian payments company announced an ongoing partnership with IMG, the owner and producer of the event. The collaboration will kick off at this year’s September shows, which will champion American designers, support the U.S. retail industry, and showcase brands to shoppers.
According to Afterpay, the decision comes at a critical juncture for U.S. retail, as NYFW generates more economic value than any other international fashion event. Historically, the event has raked in nearly $900 million each year for the city of New York through job growth and tax revenue, representing the largest windfall of any regional fashion week in the world, it said.
To further capitalize on the opportunity, Afterpay and IMG are working together to roll out activities, interactive concepts and digital experiences in the lead up to September. Looking to put its own spin on NYFW, Afterpay has enlisted the help of New York emerging designer LaQuan Smith—a favorite of the celebrities including the Kardashians, JLo, and Rihanna.
The creative director will put on a “See Now, Buy Now” fashion show during the event, treating consumers at home to front-row seats. With the event streaming on their mobile devices and tablets, they will have the opportunity to purchase items as models strut down the catwalk and use Afterpay to fund their splurges in four equal installments.
The payment provider said the Smith show will represent “the first of many consumer-facing programs Afterpay and IMG will unveil leading up to Fashion Week and throughout the year.”
“After the uncertainty of the past year and the toll that Covid-19 has had on fashion, retail and the city of New York, it is a privilege for Afterpay to be a part of the revitalization of this critical industry,” said Nick Molnar, co-founder and co-CEO of Afterpay. “Through our work with IMG, we are proud to be an integral part in creating a new future for the fashion industry, one that offers accessibility, inclusion and sustainability to retailers and consumers.”
Molnar said that the partnership will also help to reinvigorate retail and bolster local fashion centers as shoppers begin to emerge from a year of quarantine. Year-round programming alongside IMG will help support retailers and consumers alike, he added. In addition to supporting NYFW, Afterpay is also the title sponsor of Australian Fashion Week with IMG and London Fashion Week, put on by the British Fashion Council.
“With our new partners at Afterpay, we are proudly committing to not only reignite the commerce and creativity showcased at America’s most critical fashion industry event, but revitalize New York’s fashion and retail sectors at large,” Leslie Russo, president of IMG’s fashion events and properties, said in a statement. “Our industry has faced countless setbacks during the pandemic, but our collective resilience is unparalleled.”