By  on July 5, 2005

NEW YORK — Executives at 7th on Sixth might be playing the wedding march before too long.

The group is actively exploring the logistics of organizing a group venue for biannual bridal runway shows.

During an interview last week, Fern Mallis, executive director of 7th on Sixth and vice president of parent IMG, said she is hammering out a proposal to present to potential sponsors, of which there are many in the burgeoning bridal business. Once sponsors are secured, 7th on Sixth will then try to rally support from bridal designers and manufacturers.

The plan is to set up a four-day event featuring about 20 shows in April and then again in October. The shows would be held at a yet-to-be-determined site but not in Bryant Park, and not necessarily in tents.

As things stand now, bridal designers show in a variety of venues and showrooms all over the city during the April and October bridal markets. Mallis said she would love to make an announcement about IMG's plans in October, around the time of the next round of bridal shows. Ideally, the first IMG-run bridal shows would be held in April 2006, but Mallis said that could be moved up quickly if needed.

She plans to start pursuing sponsors once the first 7th on Sixth swimwear show, a four-day affair, wraps up July 20 in Miami Beach.

The idea of coordinating the bridal shows in a group format is something Mallis has discussed many times with bridal executives and designers over a period of several years, she said.

With the legendary bridal retailer Kleinfeld moving into Manhattan later this month and bridal designers incorporating more ready-to-wear-inspired trends in their gowns, the timing seems to be right. Kleinfeld is shuttering its 60-year-old Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, store to relocate to a 35,000-square-foot unit at 110 West 20th Street. The new store is expected to generate $35 million in annual sales, as reported.

It used to be that October was the major bridal market but now the bridal business has developed into a two-season one, Mallis said. "We've done our homework and there is a buzz about bridal that is exciting."

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