It has been widely reported that designers from Carmen Marc Valvo to Vera Wang, given the hefty costs and their floundering sales, have opted out of doing flashy, big budget shows at the Bryant Park tents for fall 2009 New York Fashion Week which officially starts February 13.
Many of these designers are looking to show, instead, at gallery or events venues. This has been done in the past by many designers including such big names as Marchesa, Tory Burch, Manuel – just to name a few. In light of this, Crain’s is reporting that IMG is trying to create a fourth venue designed specifically for presentations in or near Bryant Park. Executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America Steven Kolb told Crain’s that “talent’s talent. If someone has talent and has a product to sell, it doesn’t matter if they’re showing on a runway or in a studio.”
Given this it’s little surprise that popular event space the Metropolitan Pavilion has reported an increase in demand for Fashion Week space in February, compared with September. In fact, this is the first time the venue will be open for February shows, something which a trade show conflict had prevented in previous years. Shelly Taggar Metropolitan Pavilion’s director of sales and creative services told Crain’s that she attributes the spike in interest to cost-conscious designers. Given that a show in the Bryant Park tents cost designer’s upwards of $100,000, the $15,000 price tag for a show at the Metropolitan Pavilion seems relatively low. Though one could argue that especially for smaller designers, the exposure that one gets at Bryant Park is worth the extra cost.
That said, Tagger tells Crain’s “obviously this year, people don’t have half a million dollars to produce a fashion show. After the New Year, people will pick up their phone and see what they can do.” A big cost-saver with presentations is that if the designer chooses, they can be done with mannequins instead of models. Presentations also allow buyers and editors to get an up-close look at the garments to truly appreciate the craftsmanship.