The confidential event plans, obtained by WWD, are preliminary and are subject to the Phase Four reopening of New York City.
In the deck’s letter to designers, IMG wrote, “Over the past few months, we’ve heard from so many of you about the challenges you face, your uncertainty about what’s ahead and the plans you’re making to weather the storm while keeping your team and customers safe. The stories vary widely, but there’s been one common thread: This is a time that will require all of our collective creativity and commitment to help the industry we love not just survive, but thrive.”
IMG is polling designer interest for options both on and off its official central footprint at Spring Studios, ranging from immersive runway shows and presentations to pop-up shops and outdoor experiences to livestreamed productions and design installations, original films, 360-degree photography, talent talks, and panel discussions.
Reached for comment Wednesday, Matthew Orley, vice president, designer relations and business development, IMG, told WWD, “We recognize the tremendous impact COVID-19 has had on the fashion industry in New York and around the world, and we remain committed to providing a variety of resources for designers during one of the most critical marketing and selling periods of the year. As we do each season, we are working closely with designers to determine their needs and how we can best support their visions. For September 2020, we have created a variety of new options that include live and virtual presentations, digital content and distribution, programming and experiences, which will continue to evolve based on the government’s latest health and safety guidelines.”
As reported, the Council of Fashion Designers said last month that the spring 2021 shows would run Sept. 14 to 16, and if there’s enough demand, Sept. 17 would be added as a supplemental day. The CFDA’s Mark Beckham, vice president of marketing and events, had said that the group would be launching a digital platform shortly, and because no live shows with audiences were expected to be staged in September, “we can fit the same amount of shows in to three days because of no need for travel time in between the shows.” Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors, two of the leading names of NYFW, have both said they won’t be showing in September, although Kors plans to do an event in October related to spring 2021. Gabriela Hearst, another key figure of NYFW, has said she will show in Paris this fall.
In its deck, IMG outlined key health and safety precautions for NYFW: The Shows at Spring Studios such as individuals having to have their temperature taken at arrival; hair and makeup artists required to wear face shields and goggles; hand sanitizer stations throughout the venue, and face mask requirements in the building. The galleries will feature one-way traffic throughout, and the sixth floor will have a new pre-show holding area that’s socially distanced. In addition, the terrace will offer a new VIP lounge relocated to the rooftop and additional rooftop presentation space that’s available exclusively from a freight elevator.
The venue will be limited to capacities that the New York State governor has mandated within the corresponding phase category, and elevators will have 50 percent capacity. Social distancing will be enforced throughout all backstage areas, and individually boxed backstage catering with designated space to eat will be required.
Among the offerings at Spring Studios are Gallery 1, a 70-foot long, straight runway with flexibility and limited capacity ($40,000); Gallery II, which is a non-built, open floor plan space, with limited capacity ($20,000), and Gallery III, which is a dark studio without windows, with direct access off the lobby and loading dock ($20,000). Also available is the Library, which is 550 square feet and features windows along one wall, and is suitable for private appointments, showrooms and small presentations throughout the week (price upon request), and the terrace (price upon request). Also on offer are adjacent outdoor venues: Pier 25 at Hudson River Park, a rentable event space, and Grand Banks at Pier 25, an oyster bar aboard the historic wooden schooner, Sherman Zwicker, and docked alongside Pier 26, which has a 65-seat capacity.
IMG said it is offering a dedicated livestream embed code for onsite shows, with opportunity to syndicate and distribute across owned properties and p.r. outlets.
The company is asking designers to respond before July 24 for consideration and to choose their top three dates and time selections and whether they would like to do a live presentation or a prerecorded one.