As always, Marc Jacobs divided opinion — not his fashion, but the two-hour wait for the show to start. There were those who accepted it with stoicism and those who thought the designer was obnoxious.
As retailers saw it, Jacobs' track record for delays rivals the airlines. A few retail sources noted his shows are typically an hour late, while most other designer shows run roughly a half hour late.
"In the end, it's disrespectful," said one top merchant. "Keeping thousands of people waiting that long is not right." Jim Gold, president and chief executive officer of Bergdorf Goodman, said he left after waiting about 90 minutes. "We had merchants and members of our fashion office who stayed, but I think it's a lot to ask of people. This is a very busy week. There is a lot of pressure. They have a full schedule of shows and market appointments, and they're very tired. As long as I've been in the business, I have never seen a delay as long. It's frustrating because I really wanted to see the show."
Ken Downing, senior vice president and fashion director at Neiman Marcus, was e-mailed last night by people in the industry who knew that Jacobs' start time would be very late, so Downing showed up late himself, about 10:30. "There were quite a few e-mails going around the fashion community," Downing said.
After waiting for a long time, some retail bigwigs left before the show began. "I don't know what to say. It is what it is," said Ron Frasch, president and chief merchandising officer of Saks Fifth Avenue. "At about 10 or 10:15, I decided to take my hour commute home, but we had people who stayed," including merchants Joe Boitano and Linda DeFrancis; Denise Incandela from Saks Direct, and women's fashion director Michael Fink. Jacobs' two-hour delay, "could have broken the record," Frasch said. "It's a top 10-er for sure, but there's some stiff competition out of Paris. Galliano has been up there."
"It was a two-hour delay, but to me it was worth it," said Stephanie Solomon, Bloomingdale's vice president of fashion direction. "It was an extraordinary show. He is an extraordinary designer. There must have been a good reason for the delay. He took a very gracious bow at the end," Solomon said. She also said senior executive vice president and general merchandise manager Frank Doroff and others from the team hung in, although some from the Bloomingdale's camp had left.
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