How COS FW23 boujie-fied the high street

How COS FW23 boujie-fied the high street

by Ollie Cox
3 min

Forget the high street, COS has returned to this September’s schedule to present its Fall/Winter 2023 collection at New York Fashion Week, exploring contrasts and fusing forward-thinking innovation with tradition. 

COS is a London-based, H&M-owned fashion label, which has now shown at New York Fashion Week for a second time. Despite the collection looking great, one has to question the authenticity of the brand showing at an event like New York Fashion Week. 

In a press release following its NYFW show, which was attended by a host of A-listers, including Evan Mock, the brand revealed more about the collection: “Quality and longevity remain at the collection’s core; adjustable elements ensure the perfect fit of a classic, well-tailored suit, while reversible pieces deliver versatility ensuring each item serves a purpose. Everyday pieces are enhanced through exploratory textures – soft leather, herringbone, and chunky knits. Material consideration continues throughout, with over 92% of the collection made from more sustainably sourced materials, including high-quality knits crafted from recycled and GCS cashmere.”

COS served black-tie menswear upon seamless overcoats & jackets in varying cuts and compositions. Women wore more experimental pieces: panelled waist-coat dresses, vivid blue turtle-neck gowns and knitted split-sleeve tops to name a few. 

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But the formula makes perfect sense for one of the high street’s most elevated, somewhat affordable, labels. 

COS is operating on a see now, buy now model, presenting a FW23 collection where people can immediately purchase the items seen on the runway. COS’ appeal is in its luxury depiction of fast fashion, making itself known for its sans-branded minimal pieces that could work in the wardrobe for years. 

The label’s audience is vast, reaching far beyond the confines of die-hard fashion fans. However, it does boast some high-profile fans, including Brenda Hashtag, who has referred to COS as being her “The Row” when she was younger, and to be fair, we see it. 

While the overconsumption that fast fashion can lead to is always a bad thing, selecting solid, minimal pieces such as tailored outerwear is a solid way to build a wearable wardrobe above the trend cycle. 

Since the label arrived in 2007, it has uniquely positioned itself as a fashion-forward leader in the realm of (somewhat) accessible fashion, crafting its clothes from functional, high-quality materials, known for understated, stylish pieces and capsule wardrobe staples. 

So, do you think COS is fit for the runway?

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