NEW YORK — Manufacture New York, a Manhattan-based fashion incubator and small-run production facility, is joining forces with the photography, video and consumer electronics retailer Adorama to unveil an integrated showroom, retail and event space.
This story first appeared in the December 27, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
While various events will be held at the MNY downtown pop-up space for more than a month, the pinnacle of the partnership will be Launch NYC, an eight-day event featuring fashion shows, an integrated showroom and retail space that will be held Feb. 5 to 12. Held during New York Fashion Week, Launch NYC will be staged at 55 West 17th St. in the 5,000-square-foot MNY 55 space. Video monitors will also be set up on the exterior of the building so that passersby and any tardy MNY showgoers will be able to watch the fashion shows live.
Manufacture New York founder Bob Bland said Thursday that the concept sprang from all the post-fashion week discussions about whether runway shows help drum up sales. “After the shows in September, a lot of people were asking, ‘Do the shows matter? Are they relevant?’” Bland said. “For me, as someone who came from the design side, I know that dropping thousands of dollars on shows didn’t translate into sales.”
To try to change that for New York fashion labels, Launch NYC participants will show their latest collection to press, buyers, customers, VIPs and a ticketed public audience. At the same time, they can present sales samples of their fall-winter collections in the adjacent showroom to buyers and the media by appointment. In addition, the MNY store will have available each label’s current collection of apparel, accessories and jewelry for sale right after the runway show and throughout NYFW.
“What I really hope will happen is that once people see a functional model that works, it will be continued on by others. The trade show Bread & Butter announced recently that it will open the last two days of the show for retail. Who would have guessed that would happen?” Bland said.
Anne Cahill, professional markets director of Adorama, said, “As a Manufacture New York sponsor, we have the unique opportunity to collaborate with some of the most creative minds in the industry.”
In addition to Launch NYC, the MNY space will be used to showcase the next generation of New York City-based apparel and accessory designers for various gatherings from Jan. 23 through Feb. 16. Bland also will host a Made in the USA panel discussion there on Jan. 15. American Giant’s Bayard Winthrop, Maker’s Row founders Tanya Menendez and Matthew Burnett, and Flint & Tinder’s Jake Bronstein are among the speakers lined up.