NEW YORK — Short-sleeved brown shirts and shorts could well become the rage with emerging designers come Olympus Fashion Week in September.
Seventh on Sixth struck a long-term partnership deal with UPS, which will sponsor a fourth tent in Bryant Park dedicated exclusively to fostering emerging talent. UPS is paying for the construction of the tent, which will carry the name "UPS Delivers Fashion's Future," and the courier service will pick up the venue rental fee for the chosen designers.
"We think it's a great step forward and something that we have been championing for a long time, looking for a way to help young designers," Fern Mallis, executive director of 7th on Sixth and vice president of IMG, said Wednesday.
The fourth tent will offer seating and standing room for 300, with features such as a fully equipped backstage area and professionals on hand to arrange the lighting, sound and overall production.
A panel of industry experts is being created to choose up to 10 participating designers. The requirements are that the designer must have been in business for at least one year and must have sold the collection to stores for at least two seasons. Further information is available on olympusfashionweek.com.
"Young designers are always part of Fashion Week and even more want to be a part of it," Mallis said. "This will give young designers an opportunity to be seen in front of a wider audience, and the most important press, buyers, retailers and fashionistas."
This isn't UPS' first involvement with Fashion Week. In 2003, it sponsored Miguel Adrover's show, which even featured a male model on the runway in a UPS uniform, and last year, the company was a sponsor for B. Michael's runway presentation. In Paris, UPS is also sponsoring the couture presentations this week for designers such as Adam Jones, Felipe Oliveira Baptista and On Aura Tout Vu.
"We wanted to demonstrate that we are furthering our commitment with the fashion industry," said Karen Cole, a spokeswoman for UPS.
Cole declined to disclose the size of the investment, but noted this was UPS' largest contribution to the fashion industry so far."We want to let the industry know, particularly the emerging designers, that we understand the business of fashion," said Cole, noting that UPS is available in more than 200 countries and can ship samples back and forth across borders or hold merchandise until it is paid for by the recipient. "We are not just the guys in brown walking the streets of the Garment District."
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