Fashion Week. Industry Reactions to the Move to Lincoln Center

February 4, 2009 • Fashion Shows


According to WWD, not everyone is excited about the planned move from Bryant Park to Lincoln
Center’s Damrosch Park
. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg made the official announcement on Tuesday,
confirming reports that IMG Fashion and Lincoln Center Inc. had reached
a five-year agreement to move Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week to the site.
The new venue will make its debut at the September 2010 shows.

But the move received a mixed reception from designers and retailers,
while magazine editors generally applauded it. The first two camps
contended the location is inconvenient for logistics, while the magazine set said it was time to move on from
Bryant Park.

“I hate the idea,” said Anna Sui, a stalwart of the Bryant Park tents.
“One of the things that works with Bryant Park is that we can walk the
clothes over there, and finish the clothes as we’re setting up. That’s
the only way you can have everything finished. All of a sudden, a
zipper broke, a button didn’t come in, and all the last minute details
are still doable. Somebody can walk in with the last dress before the
first exit. I don’t think we will have that luxury at Lincoln Center.”

Nicole Miller said she imagines she will probably be on the Lincoln
Center roster, but added, “It’s not as easy to get there. We can’t walk
there.” She feels there might be some designers who will opt for
presentations in their showrooms instead.

Tommy Hilfiger, who showed at Lincoln Center the
last two seasons but is returning to the Tents this month, said, “The
space is very adaptable, and with the variety of space options, Lincoln
Center should accommodate everyone beautifully. In showing at Lincoln
Center, you inherently incorporate its culture and history into your

Retailers also gave the selection mixed reviews.

“I don’t think Lincoln Center is as good. It’s not as accessible,” said
Stephanie Solomon, vice president and women’s fashion director,
Bloomingdale’s. “You have to realize a lot of shows are scattered all
over. Generally, my week is all about running from Bryant Park to
Chelsea and SoHo and even down to the lower East Side.”

As for editors, they pointed out
that there was little alternative but to move from the park, which had
made it clear it wanted fashion out. “We had obviously worn out our
welcome at Bryant Park, so it’s very exciting to be going to someplace
where they want us,” said Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour.

Glenda Bailey
, editor in
chief of Harper’s Bazaar, added, “How great that fashion is going to
take center stage at Lincoln Center. It is where art meets
culture…meets cabs.”

Considering the revenues that New York Fashion Week
brings the city, it’s no wonder the mayor was keen to keep the event in
a centralized location. New York’s fashion week generated $446 million
in direct visitor spending last year, and had an overall economic
impact on the city of $773 million, according to a statement from The
City of New York.

At Damrosch Park, the layout will feature
87,000 square feet of space, in contrast to Bryant Park’s 70,000 square
feet. According to the City statement, Lincoln Center’s indoor
locations could also be used for special events. The arrival of fashion
week is expected to coincide with enhancements being made at Damrosch
Park as part of the overhaul of Lincoln Center. That includes a large
underground parking garage and several drop-off locations.

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One Response to Fashion Week. Industry Reactions to the Move to Lincoln Center

  1. Aylin says:

    Will it take the Parks Department and IMG another 17 years to grow tired of each other at Damrosch Park?

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