NEW YORK – Masks, social distancing and voting were the key themes at New York Fashion Week, as the five-day parade of shows in the COVID-19 era closed on Thursday with designer Christian Siriano presenting his Sarah Jessica Parker-inspired collection at his Connecticut home.

Rebecca Minkoff, who teamed up with US hardware store Lowe’s to show her rock ‘n’ roll line in a digital presentation, incorporated masks into her show after talking with her casting agent.

“He was like, if one model wants to wear a mask for safety reasons, you better believe that all the others are going to want to,” said Minkoff. “It was beautiful. It showcased all the amazing masks we’re gonna be launching.”

Minkoff will also be selling T-shirts encouraging US citizens to vote, ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election. Part of the proceeds will go to VoteRunLead, an organization which helps people register to vote and trains women to run for office.

Siriano, meanwhile, featured a dress in a bold vote print fabric and several accessories of hats, gloves, and masks.

Minkoff’s collection was done before the COVID-19 restrictions, but she decided a digital show was the only way to go.

“The pandemic hit and right away I knew I had till about May to decide what we wanted to do,” she said.

Minkoff said the brand has seen sales spike over the last few days and that business was up over 7% from last year. Customers still want fashion — even if they’re not going out as much, she said.

In place of the traditional runway show many designers, including Tom Ford and Brandon Maxwell, released look books in order to debut their new lines.  Reuters