NEW YORK — With the Republican National Convention starting Monday on Seventh Avenue, designers are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best as they rush to put the finishing touches on their spring collections, as well as make contingency plans, should disruptions bring commerce to a standstill.
Nicole Miller is ready to sleep in her office. Kay Unger is going to walk to work and Yeohlee will opt to travel via bicycle. Carmen Marc Valvo will have deliveries sent to his apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and Anna Sui’s employees will carry letters of employment to avoid security hassles. Patricia Underwood will simply close for the week.
The four-day convention at Madison Square Garden to nominate President George Bush for reelection has created anxiety among some fashion industry executives and retailers who fear thousands of protesters, delegates and media, along with closed streets and security restrictions, will create business chaos days before fashion week and during back-to-school sales. The administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg sought to lure the convention to generate revenue and focus the international spotlight on the city.
“I don’t know what to expect,’’ said Marc Jacobs. “I’m so stressed about it.”
Skipping town is not a viable option because the 7th on Sixth shows get under way at Bryant Park on Sept. 8, so designers know they don’t have much time.
“We’ve got a lot of fabrics coming in from Europe that first week of September,” Jacobs said. “We’re always very late, and this is one big thing to make us very, very late.”
Even Lela Rose, one of the First Daughters’ favorite designers and friend, is unhappy.
“I’m annoyed we’re having it,’’ she said. “New York is too crowded of a place to handle this influx of people, especially in this neighborhood, which is already overcrowded. What were we thinking?”
To try to avoid the crowds, Rose’s staff will start work at 2 p.m. on Monday and at 7 a.m. for the rest of the week. Car services are being reserved for sewers who live out of town, key deliveries should arrive this week and Rose is ready to have stranded employees sleep in her apartment.
"You start one way as a baby, but why shouldn't you be able to choose your own path as opposed to culturally people telling you which way to go?" - Thom Browne at his men's spring 2018 show, where he celebrated gender fluidity. #pfw #wwdmens (📷: @delphineachard)
"I think that all anyone really wants in life is to have people understand us for who we actually are, despite everything," says Ruth Negga. The actress talks "Preachers" season 2 and more on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: Dan Doperalski)