NEW YORK — Come February, expect to see a lot more Uber XLs in West SoHo.
That’s because the venues are changing once again for New York Fashion Week, which takes place Feb. 9 to 16.
According to IMG, the show organizers, Skylight at Moynihan Station, at 360 West 33rd Street, which was one of the official homes for the past three seasons, will no longer be offered as an option due to the new phase of construction at the site. The venue has been under construction and extremely difficult for vehicles to drop off and pick up, and will soon become the new home of Amtrak.
Instead, Skylight Clarkson Sq at 550 Washington Street in West SoHo will become the main venue and home base for NYFW: The Shows. In addition, IMG will introduce a new show space geared to designer presentations at Industria at 40 Bethune Street.
Some 60 to 70 runway shows and presentations will take place at IMG sites.
According to the Council of Fashion Designers of America, which controls the Fashion Calendar, last September there were 153 shows/presentations on the official NYFW schedule with over 300 total shows and events during the week. Among the various off-site venues that fashion designers plan to use in February are Spring Studios, Pier 59 Studios, Hammerstein Ballroom, ArtBeam, High Line Hotel and High Line Stages.
But New York is facing a little bit of competition from Los Angeles this season as several designers head west. Tommy Hilfiger will show in Venice Beach on Feb. 8, the night before NYFW; Rachel Zoe has decided to show in L.A., in the beginning of February ahead of NYFW, where she has traditionally shown her main collection and Tom Ford is said to be staging another L.A. show as well.
Meanwhile, Vera Wang is bypassing New York altogether and showing a short film to be released online on Feb. 28, the day she will be honored in Paris as a Chevalier of France’s National Order of the Legion of Honor.
Centralizing the majority of IMG’s footprint at Skylight Clarkson Sq with presentations at nearby Industria is expected to simplify the NYFW experience for designers, media and show guests, with the majority of events happening on the West Side, according to IMG.
Skylight Clarkson Sq, which features raw spaces that can be customized, will offer three different spaces: Gallery 1, a new venue for IMG, will be the largest show space with a capacity between 600 and 700 people; Gallery 2, previously used by IMG and known as The Gallery, can accommodate 500 people, and Gallery 3 is a new venue for IMG and has a capacity of 350 people. Industria, which offers one-hour presentations, can accommodate about 300 people.
In 2015, IMG acquired its chief rival, Made Fashion Week. Made began in 2009 as an alternative for designers who couldn’t afford to show at traditional venues. The spaces available for Made shows will be released in the coming weeks.
“Fashion is about evolution and adapting to the needs of your audience. As we strategized about next season, we decided to centralize our efforts at Skylight Clarkson Sq to enhance the experience for our partners, designers and guests,” said Catherine Bennett, senior vice president and managing director, IMG Fashion Events & Properties.
Bennett said the addition of the presentation space at Industria in West SoHo “reflects our commitment to marrying the worlds of fashion, art, music and culture.” She added that the galleries, music venues, hotels and designers and artists who live, work and show in the neighborhood make it a good fit for NYFW.
Beginning in 2017, IMG will also expand its offering to support various designers showing throughout the city through brand partnerships, content creation and access to WME/IMG’s roster of talent, artists and creative thinkers across fashion, art, music and technology.