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Where’s the Sbarro?

NEW YORK — The center of New York fashion has morphed into your basic suburban mall.<br><br>While so-called chic parades on the runways inside, the tents at Bryant Park have become a literal bazaar — or perhaps that should be bizarre...

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NEW YORK — The center of New York fashion has morphed into your basic suburban mall.

This story first appeared in the February 10, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

While so-called chic parades on the runways inside, the tents at Bryant Park have become a literal bazaar — or perhaps that should be bizarre — of manicures, pedicures, pizza and even doughnuts.

Gone are the days when the show venue was simply the scene of fashion editors and buyers rushing to their seats — leaving behind nothing but a whiff of Chanel No. 5. Where luxury was once pursued like a fashion grail, the senses of fashionistas this season are being bombarded. Case in point: prior to Kenneth Cole’s Friday morning show, a sea of glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts supplied by the designer alarmed some of the glossier fashion editors (whose diets, no doubt, forbid such indulgences). Shortly after the presentation, two grungy fashionistas at the Evian Cafe quickly treated themselves to roasted garlic pies out of greasy cardboard boxes — not a welcome sight at 10 a.m. Meanwhile, Shu Uemura’s makeup artists scurried around a slew of nervous-looking guinea pigs, while Dr. Scholl’s offered pedicures in — gasp — full view of those waiting for the next show to start.

Such shenanigans don’t raise an eyebrow at the Yonkers Mall or, more precisely, Penn Station. But isn’t New York Fashion Week trying to proclaim itself as the center of style?

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