NEW YORK — The show goes on, and it’s not too drastically different from previous seasons. And try not to focus on the doom and gloom too much.
Those were the key messages IMG Fashion was trying to convey at a briefing Wednesday morning. The company, which produces Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Bryant Park, gathered newspaper reporters and public relations executives at its Park Avenue South offices to address the economy and how to best tackle the shows in this climate. The meeting likely also served to rebut recent reports of designers decamping from Bryant Park in favor of low-key presentations at off-site venues.
To date, there are 63 confirmed shows in the Bryant Park tents, and IMG expects to have a total of 65 shows. In February 2008, 67 designers showed on-site.
Fern Mallis, senior vice president of IMG Fashion, told the group that in recent weeks, she has received many calls about tent defections, and lamented the attention on the negative. While Vera Wang and Betsey Johnson, for instance, have decided to try a new venue this season, the tents are seeing additions or returns by the likes of William Rast, Yigal Azrouël, Tommy Hilfiger and J.Mendel.
Steven Kolb, the executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, added the attention on American fashion, particularly Michelle Obama’s commitment to it, is a positive, but he added, “We’d be remiss not to acknowledge that we are going through tough times.”
In recent weeks, the CFDA and IMG Fashion have proposed the idea of designers teaming up for their presentations to lessen show costs, and next month, People’s Revolution clients Mara Hoffman, Sergio Davila and Nicholas K are doing a group show. Elsewhere, Victor Glemaud is doing a combined presentation with Camilla Staerk for his presentation.
Kolb said there are different types of collaborations, too. He lauded Charles Nolan for offering up his studio space for shows, and Michael Bastian will present his collection there. Gilt Groupe, meanwhile, will be sponsoring the Richard Chai show this season.
IMG and the CFDA have been exploring the opportunity of a fourth venue for presentations, and while that didn’t materialize for February, “That is something we are definitely committed to for September,” Kolb said.
Mallis said the tents in Bryant Park continue to have the same amount of sponsors, most of whom have long-term agreements with IMG. In fact, American Express will reveal today that it is returning to the tents, with packages for cardmembers going on sale. Jonathan Adler will design the American Express Skybox. Proceeds of the sale of these packages will contribute to a $250,000 donation by American Express to the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund.
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye