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IMG Announces Fashion Week Changes

The firm on Monday informed designers of plans to outsource production of its Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week events in New York and Miami.

NEW YORK — IMG Fashion on Monday informed designers of plans to outsource production of its Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week events in New York and Miami.

This story first appeared in the November 5, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

As a result, longtime New York-based IMG Fashion production staffers Christina Neault and Jason Brandt have been laid off, as well as Heather Stamm. Taryn O’Meara will help through the transition, according to an e-mail from senior vice president and managing director Catherine Bennett of IMG Fashion & Retail Properties. The decisions were made after completing comprehensive due diligence, she wrote.

“We view this as a key step in transforming our business and major progress towards delivering our vision: Our vision is to be the global gateway of fashion. We aim to inspire, present and unite fashion’s key constituents from creation to end consumer,” Bennett wrote.

“As part of this transformation, it was necessary for IMG Fashion to immediately reduce our U.S.-based management production staff,” Bennett wrote. “While it’s tough to see longtime members of our team leave, we are excited to continue growing our network and strengthening our division.”

An IMG spokesman declined to comment other than to say additional announcements will be made in the coming weeks.

Another staffer, Jarrad Clark, is now vice president, creative director.

Going forward, IMG Fashion will tighten its ties to longtime partner Laurie DeJong and her firm, LDJ Productions. DeJong will take on a more prominent role, overseeing all key aspects of production for MBFW in New York and Miami. Reached via e-mail Monday in Rwanda, where LDJ is working on an initiative to help build a school for the arts and a fashion week, DeJong said, “LDJ has been providing venue and lobby management for many years and [we] look forward to our expanded role that now consists of overseeing all key areas of production. The IMG Fashion team will be unveiling some exciting plans in the next couple weeks and we look forward to sharing them with the fashion community.”