Los Angeles appears to have it made once again. New York-based fashion event upstart Made’s first foray to the West Coast, a two-day event dubbed Made L.A. that takes place Friday and Saturday, has stirred both fashion and consumer buzz, judging from the ticket sales thus far.
As revealed in April, the WME-IMG and Anschutz Entertainment Group-supported event, which begins with a celebrity-filled Moschino runway show featuring men’s spring 2017 and women’s resort 2017 collections followed by an afterparty, is aimed at consumers as well as fashion press. Tickets, which went on sale to the public on May 16, are already sold out at certain tiers. The $400 VIP package for Moschino – which includes reserved seats in Row B (Row A presumably being held for celebrities and press), access to the VIP lounge, afterparty with appetizers and cocktails, as well as The Stores retail marketplace – are sold out. The $250 tickets for seats in Rows C to G, the afterparty and The Stores are still available.
Made represents a return to L.A. for IMG, which mounted a Los Angeles Fashion Week event in partnership with Smashbox Studios in Culver City from 2003 to 2008. This new event will be held at the L.A. Live complex downtown, which comprises the Staples Center, the Microsoft Theater and a giant permanent tent atop a parking structure that’s known as the L.A. Live Event Deck where Made L.A. will occur. The location may seem like an odd choice, but the sports and entertainment complex makes sense in some ways.
While AEG’s ties to the venue may have dictated the location, local fashion show enthusiasts will recall it was the site of Style Fashion Week’s biannual multiday runway show collective from 2011 to 2013. While the selection of the lines shown there, as well as the taste level of the invite-only crowd, may not have been up to fashion editor standards, it’s a proven venue equipped to handle large crowds and a giant runway production. Its location atop a parking structure near a freeway entrance also makes for easy access, which may balance out the trek downtown. The Event Deck serves as the media tent for awards shows such as the Emmys, the ESPYs and the MTV Video Awards that take place at the Microsoft Theater, so it’s wired for mass digital transmissions – important not only for members of the press trying to get their images out, but for the masses posting to social media.
The presence of a major international fashion brand like Moschino showing in L.A. in June represents a sea change in Los Angeles’ fashion show landscape. While the city has been a draw for one-off designer events for decades, those are increasingly filling up the calendar here during off-months on the traditional fashion calendar (Burberry’s runway spectacle last April), as well as the already jam-packed months of January and February, also known as awards season in Hollywood (Tom Ford’s Oscar-weekend fall show in 2015, Stella McCartney’s pre-fall party in January and Saint Laurent’s show in February).
Organizations from the Council of Fashion Designers of America to Otis College of Art and Design and independent show organizers have all opined on ways to galvanize the L.A. fashion scene. The only thing they seem to agree upon is that it shouldn’t try to duplicate the New York Fashion Week formula, or that of any established fashion capital. At the moment, it’s on-trend to buck the trend, so such newfangled productions playing either to the red-carpet or streetwear-meets-entertainment model are being met with enthusiasm.
Saturday’s events now include a 5 p.m. Hood by Air presentation featuring a performance by musician Sean Bowie, also known as Yves Tumor, accompanied by friends/models wearing the clothes. This will coincide with a live-streamed runway show featuring the brands’ signature items rather than the avant-garde sportswear shown at its New York runway shows. As has come to be expected with brands experimenting with streaming shows, the L.A. collection will be available for pre-order in real time. It’s not exactly see-now-by-now, but it’s see-now-engage-now for customers at the event as well as fans online. General admission tickets, which provide standing room access to the event and The Stores, for $20 are still available.
Golf Wang, the streetwear line by musician Tyler, The Creator, will hold its first fashion presentation at 9 p.m., which also promises a live “experience” from the entertainer. The $55 general admission tickets are sold out, as are the $150 VIP tickets for seating in the first three rows, access to the VIP lounge and bar and expedited entry. Still available are $80 reserved seat tickets.
Those prices and ticket tiers are on par with headliner concerts, major league sporting events, and festivals such as Coachella. Could willing consumers make these hybrid fashion/music/retail events as lucrative for organizers as they are valuable for designers? Perhaps designers should start checking on 2017 availability dates for Madison Square Garden. That Yeezy show as well as this weekend’s event may be less a harbinger of things to come and more a reflection of a moment that’s here to stay.