NEW YORK — The 10th anniversary edition of 7th on Sixth is drawing several designers back to Bryant Park for the Sept. 12-19 shows, with more than 40 companies confirmed so far in venues at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

Catherine Malandrino, Badgley Mischka, Douglas Hannant, Peter Som and Yeohlee are among the designers who are returning to the tents after showing off-site in recent seasons, while newcomers include GF Ferré, Lacoste, London’s Roland Mouret, and Jennifer Nicholson, the designing daughter of Jack Nicholson. Also likely to show in September is Tuleh, the upscale ready-to-wear line designed by Bryan Bradley and Amanda Brooks, which has not staged a formal runway presentation in more than two years.

“Given the economic times, our venues are the best option available to designers right now,” said Fern Mallis, executive director of 7th on Sixth, noting that the shared costs of lighting, facilities and production help offset the steep price of shows. “Plus, there is the added excitement of the 10th anniversary of the shows in Bryant Park, and the venues were appropriate for what people needed.”

The venues were originally organized by the Council of Fashion Designers of America as a response to shows widely scattered around the city and have since grown into a major marketing vehicle for fashion designers and ancillary products looking to market themselves with an association of style and luxury. The CFDA’s production arm, 7th on Sixth, was sold to the events marketing agency IMG in 2001.

Several designers have come and gone, and the tents have been both heralded and criticized from season to season, as some companies felt the shows became too homogenized and struck out into more esoteric locations to set themselves apart. Malandrino, for instance, held fashion shows in Harlem and a boat basin on the West Side Highway before committing to return to Bryant Park.

“As part of the team, the 10th anniversary felt like the right time for me to show in the tents,” she said.

In addition to reported sponsors Olympus, the camera company; Luxe Concierge, a high-end service for making reservations and obtaining tickets to events; Shu Uemura; Redken; W Hotels; Style Channel; Ortho Evra; Vogue; The New York Times and Silhouette Eyewear, Mallis added that Northfork Bank and Song Airlines have now signed on, while Fiji will take over the role of official water supplier long held by Evian.Among the related amenities, Northfork will install temporary ATMs in the tent lobby, W Hotels will create backstage VIP lounges and Olympus will debut a professional digital camera in a promotion with on-site photographers.

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