Menswear is grabbing the spotlight on the biggest US fashion runways as New York City catches up with other global design capitals that are already giving men's styles their due.

More than 50 designers will unveil their looks at New York Fashion Week: Men's, which started on 13 July, hoping to catch the eye of discerning buyers and critical editors who will choose their favourites for 2016's spring and summer seasons.

"I think it's exciting that actually here in New York that men's has its own dedicated fashion week. Many times it's been rolled into the women's collections and publicly hasn't really been giving the predominance that it really deserves," said Ken Downing, senior vice president, fashion director for US department store Neiman Marcus.

"There is so much great talent here in New York, there is such a great contribution from the men's designers that work here in the city. I'm thrilled to see that they are having their own moment."

Until now, menswear shows traditionally have been mixed in with hundreds of women's shows in twice-a-year events in the city. But the four-day event by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) aims to allow men's garments to step out of the shadows of their female counterparts and make a name for themselves on the catwalk.

"It's really a business decision. One that pulls the men's shows out of the women's market and aligns their shows with the men's market. The men's wholesale buying period is right now. Before there was a disconnect. And now you show and you sale at the same time, which makes sense," said CFDA chief executive Steven Kolb.

US men's apparel sales totalled $62.7bn (£40.54bn) in the 12 months ending in May, according to the NPD Group, a trend and sales tracking company, just over half the total for women's apparel over the same period. Men's apparel sales grew 2%, just short of the 3% rate for women's.

London, Milan and Paris already hold separate men's Fashion Weeks. Recent men's styles in Europe ranged from a fanciful see-though black lace jumpsuit to crinkled nylon jackets and shoes with light-up soles.

Feeding the trend, more public figures and celebrities are now style icons, younger workers have transformed workplace attire and technology gives consumers quicker access to styles.

New York Fashion Week: Men's runs until 16 July.