The Complete History of Fashion PR in New York City


5W Fashion PR

The “Garment District” in New York City has been the center for fashion and fashion design since the early 1900s. Fashion and fashion PR are inextricably linked in New York City.

Fashion PR in New York City

William Randolph Hurst’s newspaper conglomerate included Harper’s Bazaar Magazine which debuted in 1867. Prior to this few newspapers or gazettes published articles on fashion since the original purpose of these media venues was mainly news.

Interestingly, women who published articles in the earliest NY newspapers did so under male aliases. Thus, the premier issue of Harper’s Bazaar Magazine was the first of its kind to publish women’s fashions and function as a source of fashion PR. Harper’s Bazaar advertisers remain one of today’s most reliable sources linked to fashion PR.

Fashion PR Firms of the Past in New York City

As fashion grows, fashion PR firms also grow. With the emergence of the first fashion magazines in New York City came a need for PR firms to assist with promotions of fashions for cosmopolitans who relied on maintaining the New York City “look” in fashions and styles.

In the book, “Fifth Avenue, Old and New” published by the Fifth Avenue Association in 1924 by Henry Collins Brown, a photo of the “styles of the 1890’s” for men and women clearly indicates that Fifth Avenue in New York City served as a quasi runway where fashions were a high priority. For example, an advertisement in Fifth Avenue Old and New from Stadler and Stadler Men’s Tailors includes this headline: “How Men’s Styles Have Changed Since 1824.” Stadler and Stadler was located on 785 Fifth Avenue and 59th Street in New York City. The book also includes an advertisement for women’s fashions from Frances & Company Dressmakers located on 10 West 56th Street in New York City. Thus, the Fifth Avenue Association was founded to record the history of New York and was supported by advertisers of the 1800s located in the heart of New York City’s most fashionable area.

The Importance of Fashion PR Today

Throughout the early 1900s and most of the twentieth century, fashion was marketed and promoted by top names in PR. The link between the Garment Industry, fashion retailers and their PR firms has remained an effective means of setting fashion trends and increasing sales of various items of apparel.

New York City’s fashion designers are also leaders in the world of fashion. Many of the top name designers of the past like Balmain, Christian LaCroix, Chanel, Balenciaga, Oleg Cassini and Dior established haute couture fashion salons in New York City after recognizing the advantagees of the city’s embedded fashion industry.

Designers of the 1920 through the late 1960s, regularly produced collections for fashion shows. Each design house relied on fashion PR experts to help promote their collections and their fashion shows.

Today’s top design houses like Donna Karan, Jimmy Chou, Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, Vera Wang, Calvin Klein and Versace all regularly rely on top fashion PR experts to help promote each new fashion collection and fashion event.

Top Fashion PR Firms in New York City

In New York City’s history of fashion PR, there are firms that are known as the “Big Eight.” These eight fashion PR firms list top design houses, fashion retailers and garment industry professionals among their clientele. Most of the Big Eight are fashion PR firms that have a long history in the fashion PR industry.

However, 5W PR is a full-service PR firm that has won numerous awards for their PR excellence. 5W PR is now one of the top 25 PR firms in the US with an enviable record of revenue that exceeds $19 million. The company also won four coveted Stevie awards in 2014. This is the world’s premier business competition award.

5W PR’s significant presence shows the breakthrough in the PR industry for fashion. At 5W PR, the focus is on lifestyle brands that residents of the Big Apple related to most frequently. The upscale lifestyle integrates an approach to public relations that combines media relations, social media and SEO.


One thought on “The Complete History of Fashion PR in New York City

  1. Erika

    Interesting read, but you never listed the “Big Eight.” I am curious to see the list!

    Also, it is spelled Choo*

    All the best!

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