Organizer's behind Chicago's version of fashion week, Fashion Focus, have expressed the need for the city to make certain changes to the event. It has already been decided that the length of the event will be condensed from eight days to a long weekend, running from Oct. 22nd to 25th. This decision was backed by the idea that a shorter event packed with runway shows, shopping and industry seminars will attract more buyers, tourists and national press. Chicago's director of the fashion arts and events, Melissa Gamble, assured WWD that the day would be packed with various fashion events to make up for the significantly shorter timeline.
Another new device that is scheduled to be utilized is the usage of social media to entice buyers and national press to the city. Facebook pages and continual updates on Twitter will offer complimentary weekend trips to select fashion editors and writers as an incentive to come. And for the first time since the inception of the annual event. Fashion Focus has chosen to partly overlap with Stylemax, the Midwest’s largest women’s apparel market, which runs Oct. 24 to 27 at the Merchandise Mart. This will provide the optimal number of fashion media, designers, and buyers to be in the city at the same time. “That’s the smartest thing they’ve done,” said designer Pierre Colorado, who creates the Chicago-based sportswear line Blake Standard and will participate in Fashion Focus. “You definitely want to catch buyers when they’re in town.”
Colorado's fellow designers around the city are currently setting up plans as to where their runway shows or presentations will take place. While many are expected to hold their shows at the traditional venue of Fashion Focus in Millenium Park, others may not be able to afford the $5,000 entry fee to showcase under the tent and therefore are seeking out other galleries or spaces. some designers are even compiling shows together as a group to cut down on presenting costs.
This city is seemingly trying to cut down on costs as well, by lowering the number of city-sponsored nightly shows to three. While last year's show grabbed headlines by featuring standout names such as Maria Pinto and Pete Wentz, this year organizers are making waves by commissioning a study to take place pro bono by A.T. Kearney. The study which will take place throughout the events of Fashion Focus, will detail where Chicago rates fashionwise and retailwise to cities such as New York, Los Angeles and London.
Article and Photo Source: WWD