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PV-Runway Overlap Brings Headaches

NEW YORK — When Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week disclosed its plan to swap dates with London to accommodate the Jewish holidays and the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, designers were faced with a bevy of scheduling conflicts. One was...

NEW YORK — When Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week disclosed its plan to swap dates with London to accommodate the Jewish holidays and the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, designers were faced with a bevy of scheduling conflicts. One was how they were going to produce a fashion show and get to Première Vision in the same few days.

With the 7th on Sixth date change, the new show week directly overlaps Première Vision, which is scheduled for Sept. 19 to Sept. 21 in Paris.

If designers plan to attend PV, it means they have to show their collection by Friday at the latest — leaving only one day to cover the fabric show, whereas most designers use the entire three days.

Furthermore, most vendors stick around and sell their collections during the market week after the collections.

Designer Yeohlee, known for her fabric selection, development and research, said Première Vision is extremely important to attend. She was one of the few to travel to Paris after Sept. 11 last year.

This year, Yeohlee’s fashion show is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sept. 18. Just hours later, at 5 p.m., she will board an overnight flight to Paris.

“Première Vision is integral for me,” Yeohlee said. “I see my regulars and I always reserve time to explore new mills.”

Diane Von Furstenberg said the situation is frustrating, but ultimately said she had no choice but to schedule around the fabric show.

“It’s very frustrating,” Von Furstenberg said. “I was forced to show prior to fashion week and that [was a hard decision to make]. But Première Vision is important and of course I’m going.”

PV organizer Laurence Teinturier said when the dates of the New York Fashion Week were postponed, she spoke frequently with Fern Mallis, the executive director of 7th on Sixth.

“Première Vision is taking place in Paris in Villepinte, [one of the few places] where an event of this magnitude could take place,” Teinturier said. “There was nothing we could do to move the dates because of the location constraint.”

Daniel Faure, president of PV, said he was concerned about the timing since U.S. designers are key customers of the European weavers who exhibit.

But some designers are looking to the positive side of the overlapping show dates. Henri Lim, designer of Los Angeles-based contemporary line Development said being out of the loop can be a good thing.

“It’s hard to work out schedules since the market is falling at the same time as PV,” Lim said. “But it’s kind of good because you’re not being influenced by what you see during fashion week. It helps you stay focused on yourself.”

As a small company, Lim said attending PV is a good way to get the fabrics he wants before larger companies with more clout buy them up.

“To get ahead, I have to go there and see it first,” Lim said. “I don’t have the luxury of waiting. If a big company books [a fabric], I’m out of luck. We’re like a little minnow swimming with big fish and we have to use everything to our advantage, so that’s why it’s so important to go.”