April 29, 2010
By Sheryl Blasnik

Merecedes-Benz Fashion Week

As many of you may already know Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week has left midtown Bryant Park for a more uptown vibe.  From September 9th through the 16th, 2010 NY Fashion Week will relocate to Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center.  With that move will come some transitions and some changes.

In a press release, Peter Levy, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of IMG Fashion Worldwide said “This is a very exciting day for us, The move has allowed IMG to reinvent and improve so many aspects of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week as well as develop a stronger link to the surrounding facilities and spaces available at Lincoln Center and the neighborhood.  This is the first season in what we are confident will be a long ‘run’ at Lincoln Center.”

Some improvements will be a spacious lobby with a new facade that will allow for sponsor booths and a schedule of the day’s events projected on a wall to make it easier for guests to stay on time and move around the four spaces. Bryant Park housed three “tents” called the Tent, Salon and Promenade.  At Lincoln Center those tents will be replaced with The Theater, a 969-seat venue with a larger backstage area and a video screen; The Stage, a 740-seat space and The Studio, a 396-seat space.  With the additional space available IMG will add a fourth presentation space called The Box.  This new space will house smaller presentations for designers not wishing to put on a runway show.  The Box could also be used for lectures, forums and to meet with the press.

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, the new Director of Fashion, Lincoln Center said “We are delighted to provide Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week with a new home and an extraordinary array of possibilities. Over the past few years, Lincoln Center has undergone a transformation, resulting in a campus that is aesthetically spectacular as well as extremely accessible. We look forward to providing the fashion industry with one central location for activities in and around the tents. In addition, we plan to welcome consumers with a dynamic array of opportunities to engage with the art of fashion.”

With social media growing in leaps and bounds IMG Fashion has embraced this technology and will offer digital services that did not exist previously. Designers will have access to a designer centric website that will allow for smoother registration and credential checks.  There will be online RSVP and the use of bar-coded invites so guests can check themselves in and wait times will be greatly reduced.

Fern Mallis just announced she will be leaving her position as IMG senior vice-president following a successful nine year run as the global ambassador of NY Fashion Week.  She will be launching her own executive advisory and consulting firm, Fern Mallis LLC.  In a statement, Mallis said “I’ll be at the shows in September. They absolutely want me to be there and I want to be there, I’m assuming the designers are still going to invite me to their shows.”

With Lincoln Center offering so many cultural experiences there will be many outdoor cafes and seating areas to enjoy in addition to an outdoor garden. This will truly be a season where “art meets fashion“.

Sheryl Blasnik

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