LOS ANGELES — This time it’s for real.
This story first appeared in the November 5, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
That was the resounding message 7th on Sixth executive director Fern Mallis and her team delivered at a news conference Friday evening here in downtown, attended by 200 industry representatives, including designers as disparate as Rick Owens and Randolph Duke, Peter Cohen and Henry Duarte. And it was their mantra through the weekend as they made the marathon rounds of runway shows and parties.
“‘Mercedes-Benz Shows L.A.’ will take place as part of Los Angeles Fashion week,” assured Mallis, noting the name of the four days of shows, April 1-4, that the IMG subsidiary will stage here next season. “We’re coming. And we’re here for the long haul.”
Against a dramatic backdrop of twinkling skyscrapers at dusk on the rooftop of The Downtown Standard, Mallis announced 7th on Sixth’s plans to present four to five shows a day in three venues there at the hotel, a Pop-surrealist tower that André Balazs opened in May and which has since won several design awards while becoming a hub of downtown’s renaissance with its courtyard restaurant and rooftop bar and pool.
The mezzanine will contain two flexible venues with seating capacities of about 150 and 250, respectively. A tent that can accommodate up to 400 guests will be put up in the parking lot.
The site near the marts, which host fall market April 4-8, is at the corner of Flower and Sixth Streets, the latter working easily into the 7th on Sixth logo, Mallis pointed out.
She also noted that, as 7th on Sixth in New York marks its 10th anniversary next year, it has come a long way to organize the calendar and bring a centrality to events there. The goal here as in New York is to “centralize, organize and modernize,” she said. “We realized the talent here should be galvanized to help make L.A. a fashion destination.”
Although anyone can apply for the slots, a steering committee made up of Los Angeles-based industry members and 7th on Sixth representatives will determine the final lineup.
Other corporate sponsors, besides the marquis automaker, are being sought as partners.
“I never thought I’d live to see this happen in L.A.” Richard Tyler told the crowd. Tyler, who’s considered the godfather of the city’s current designer community, took the podium as an endorsement of 7th on Sixth’s plans.
“I’m going to show here,” declared Ghost designer Tanya Sarne after the news conference. The British designer is increasingly spending more time at her home here, not in the least because her daughter has become a full-time Angeleno. “The dates aren’t fantastic — slightly late in the season. But I don’t love New York and London is a lot of effort and not a lot of reward.”