LOS ANGELES — A runway show, complete with lights, sound, security, dressers and production for only $750?
That’s the rate 7th on Sixth announced Friday that it is offering for its smallest venue at the Downtown Standard during Mercedes-Benz Shows L.A., April 1-4. The Atelier, as the space is called, accommodates 200 guests and a 74-foot, U-shaped runway.
The other two sites are just as much a bargain. The mezzanine-level “Avenue” space features a 72-foot runway and holds 240 people at a cost of $1,200. The largest venue, The Lot, a tent on the parking lot adjacent to the hotel’s entrance, can seat 475 and fit an additional 125 standing along its 78-foot catwalk. The price: $3,500.
By contrast, the largest tent space at Bryant Park, where 7th on Sixth produces Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, can accommodate 1,000 guests at a cost of $39,500.
“We knew we had to offer something different to L.A. designers,” said Fern Mallis, vice president of IMG and executive director of 7th on Sixth. Complimentary hair services are even being offered as part of Redken’s title sponsorship, also announced Friday. As reported, Vogue is also on board.
Funding is an issue anywhere, but it particularly has been a hot topic in the design community here, which struggles each season to stage shows that have mostly been long on enthusiasm but short on production quality. To wit, Michelle Mason was named Friday the first MBSLA recipient of an underwritten show. Mason’s have always been anticipated events during this city’s presentations; however, the designer had to skip the last two seasons because of a lack of sponsorship.
Across town in Culver City, Smashbox Studios was hatching the final details of its own fashion week series, March 31-April 3. Co-owner Dean Factor confirmed that Rami Kashou and Eduardo Lucero would show there, and that contracts were about to be signed with 12 other designers. Lighting packages start at $500, he said, and participants have complimentary access to Smashbox makeup artists.
Meanwhile, the California Market Center will again do a show calendar this season to keep track of all the events.
This story first appeared in the January 27, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.