NEW YORK — Color always plays an integral role on Bryant Park runways, but the Office of Homeland Security’s elevated terrorist warning had the fashion flock picturing orange in another light.
This story first appeared in the February 10, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
What many don’t realize is that New York City had already been operating under code orange, which indicates a high risk of terrorist attacks. What has changed is the state and the federal government upgraded their terror threat level on Friday.
As for security at 7th on Sixth, NYPD Sgt. Michael Wysokowski said Sunday, “Detail for the event will be adequate.”
This week generates $260 million in commercial revenue and $11 million in tax receipts for the city, noted 7th on Sixth executive director Fern Mallis, who is confident that security is on the case.
“We are reserving the right to inspect bags if they seem unusual, but that said, these are fashion shows and there are a lot of people transporting camera and television equipment, which makes that very difficult,” Mallis said. “We always have police here, including some plain clothes officers. I woke up this morning and heard the news and of course, I thought, ‘oh, no.’ But we can’t be frozen and stop doing what we are here to do. It’s important that we do what we have to do.”
Joan Kaner, senior vice president and fashion director of Neiman Marcus, said, “We’re all very anxious. I’d like to see more police outside and a lot more control over who’s getting in and out of the tents. But life goes on and we all have a job to do.”
Honey magazine fashion director Michaela Angela Davis said, “It’s funny, but during fashion week you get into this whole frivolity. It’s kind of a reprieve. You forget your politics.”
Paper magazine’s Patrick McDonald and The Village Voice’s Lynn Yaeger said they were concerned about the warning, but planned to still use the subway. Yaeger, who had a pair of orange gloves popping out of her handbag, said she still loves orange, but maybe designers should try more red.
Dressed in orange pants, In Style’s Daisy Lewellyn said, “I’m not doing anything differently. I feel safe all the time.”