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July 24, 2009 • Fashion Shows


John Demsey and Mazdack Rassi at Milk Studios

Last week we reported MAC was breaking away from their 5 year sponsorship at the tents at Bryant Park in favor of partnering with Milk Studios offsite. Apparently MAC will be replaced by Maybelline New York inside the tents. We then received a press release yesterday morning from MAC announcing they will host a series of runway shows, presentations, special events and other creative activities at Milk Studios during New York Fashion Week (September 10-17) for the Spring 2010 season.  

Well, according to WWD, a big brouhaha seems to be sewing between MAC Cosmetics and IMG Fashion. Now it gets interesting!

MAC already does runway makeup for designers like Proenza Schouler,
Alexander Wang, Peter Som, Threeasfour, Vena Cava, Band of Outsiders,
Adam Lippes, Altuzarra, Barbara Tfank, Costello Tagliapietra, Erin
Fetherston, Pamela Love, Preen and Temperley London — and the list
could grow to 30 designers (split between Fern_mallis runway shows and
presentations). However, none of the designers it’s attracted so far
have shown at the Bryant Park tents in recent seasons other than
Fetherston and Lippes. The rest have moved offsite.

Apparently, rent at Milk Studios is free. MAC and Milk will provide the raw space for
designers, saving them some $26,000 to $50,000 to rent a tent
at Bryant Park which is particularly attractive in these tough economic times. MAC, IMG Fashion and Milk Studios executives
all swear there is no competition between the venues, with John Demsey,
Estée Lauder group president (which owns MAC), saying MAC is working closely with the
Council of Fashion Designers of America to plan the Milk Studio events
within the official fashion calendar. Hmmm.

With IMG’s shows moving Damrosch Park in
Lincoln Center in September 2010, could the Milk Studios become a viable
competitor to the tents? Is IMG's Fern Mallis upset or worried? Or did Maybelline New York just dug deeper into their pockets for sponsorship money?

WWD then speculates, if IMG isn’t miffed, why did, which is
produced by IMG, send out an e-mail blast on Wednesday trumpeting its
roster of designers at the tents this season, including Doo.Ri and
Isaac Mizrahi and Bryant Park newcomers Tory Burch and Derek Lam? On
the site, Mallis is quoted as saying: “In these times, designers are
realizing that showing at Bryant Park is the way to go when they need
to make the best possible impression. The economy is tough. But come
September, Bryant Park is going to rock.” That sounds a little desperate.

Eichman, vice president of global marketing and communications at IMG
Fashion, said there were no hard feelings between IMG and MAC.
“Ultimately, MAC has decided to activate their brand in an interesting
way and do something that is going to be very helpful to a handful of
designers.” Eichman also said IMG will beJack_mccollough_lazaro_hernandez offering a shuttle service
to Milk Studios, “provided that the shows don’t conflict with the shows
on site." anyone who has covered Fashion Week knows there will be scheduling conflicts. There are several shows simultaneously going on all week.

Milk Studios has been an offsite fashion show venue for several years. Calvin Klein showed there for eight years before creating its
own event space in 2006 until a disastrous season when the studio’s
air-conditioning broke and several top editors walked out before the
show began. Another problem is that the venue is clear across town on the far West Side which makes getting to shows back at the tents difficult.

Come September, Milk Studios’
main-floor gallery will be set up for shows and some larger
presentations; its second-floor gallery space will feature most of the
runway shows, and another 10 studios will be used for
castings, hair and makeup tests and look book shoots.

CFDA executive director
Steven Kolb said the association embraces any move that enhances a
“more successful fashion week” in New York. “To me, the calendar
and time slot needs to drive the venue,” Kolb said. “In the end, Milk
and MAC are creating a space that is helping designers who may not be
able to afford to show, and brings attention to designers, which is a
good thing. I support anything that is new and brings something to
fashion week.

ever anything new was created that started to unravel the foundation
and core of fashion week,” he added, “then I would speak up against it,
but that’s not the case here. The more venues, the more access, the
more opportunity there is for American fashion.” We couldn't agree more.

Sources: WWD, M.A.C.

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