New York Fashion Week’s move to Lincoln Center earned generally favorable marks from designers and retailers, although the packed schedule and its hither-and-yon schedule drew complaints from many buyers.
“Lincoln Center was a triumph,” said Carolina Herrera. “The way it was constructed, the entrance, and the outside gardens, it was all fantastic.”
Mark Badgley said, “It just felt like New York. It was good for fashion, good for designers and good for the city. I know the first time is always a novelty but all the people we invited — socialites, celebrities and industry — they were really into it.”
Isaac Mizrahi was another fan of the uptown digs. “There was something elegant about it and I think it was a little more organized than Bryant Park. Also, somehow it felt less anxiety-provoking by not being in the center of town.”
Pleased as he was, the designer is not committing to a second consecutive season just yet. “I may show there again next season, but I can’t be sure because I like to change things a little from time to time,” he said. “I would definitely show there again in the future.”
Lela Rose was also at ease with how everything worked out for her Sept. 12 show and to have fashion showcased in a hub for the arts. However, she did hear “a few grumblings about the GPS system for seating, but I suspect all kinks will be worked out by next season.”
Prabal Gurung was also high on the location’s cultural significance. “The magnitude of the place itself, the buildings, what it represents historically…you don’t feel it until you go there,” Gurung said. “It’s a perfect home for fashion. There was this incredible energy. It was easy to navigate and to find, traveling back and forth was easier also. There weren’t any crazy traffic jams. I think it worked out perfectly.”
While the new check-in system for guests was lauded by many, some thought the check-in desks, screens to direct people to the right venue, and little white printouts with seating information were reminiscent of airport terminals — environments usually lesser known for high-fashion statements.
“It’s like being on Jet Blue,” Marjorie Gubelmann said. “I love it.”
Robert Burke said he started the show season feeling “very skeptical,” but thought the set-up was “well organized,” especially the check-in system. In addition, the layout resulted in “less riffraff looking on than usual,” he said.
Ken Downing, senior vice president and fashion director of Neiman Marcus, pointed to the mall’s outdoor plaza as a welcome extra. “There is some room to maneuver and breathe, and gather yourself and your team,” he said. “Now, if we could only get the schedule to be less uptown, downtown…it would be very helpful if there is an attempt to schedule blocks of shows in one part of the town. Think of how much more ecologically correct we would be.”
It was a common complaint about store buyers, who felt they spent a large part of the week in taxis or Town Cars shuttling from one end of Manhattan to the other. “I thought Lincoln Center worked,” said Nicole Fischelis, group vice president and fashion director of Macy’s Inc. “What didn’t work is that there are still too many collections all over the city.”
Barbara Atkins, vice president and creative director of Holt Renfrew, was even more vocal. “The venue felt very spacious, but it wasn’t very convenient for buyers. We’re all over the city, running to see showrooms in between shows. It seems that fewer designers were showing at Lincoln Center. Most were downtown. The travel was very difficult. It felt like a trade show.”
Overall, though, buyers were pleased with the new locale, as summed up by Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo, who gave it a two thumbs-up. “If I had four, five or six hands, the thumbs would all go up,” she said. “It’s efficient. We underestimate how when things are well organized, it relieves stress. Fashion week is stressful enough.”
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)