7TH ON SIXTH DROPPING ONE OF ITS CHELSEA PIER VENUES
Byline: Arthur Friedman / With contributions from Eric Wilson
NEW YORK — The move of 7th on Sixth to the Chelsea Piers has been a tough sell on Seventh Avenue, so difficult that the organizers have dropped the show’s largest venue from the schedule due to lack of interest.
So far, 15 designers have booked space for 7th on Sixth Chelsea’s three spaces in Pier 59 Studios, whose venues have a capacity range of 575 to 775.
Fern Mallis, executive vice president of 7th on Sixth, said Monday that plans to stage a show in the parking lot of Pier 60, which would have been the largest venue, holding some 1,500 people, drew no takers.
“Apparently, there is a move away from large venues,” Mallis said.
What has emerged, Mallis said, are alternative sites nearby Pier 59, which is located at the West Side Highway and 18th Street. This group includes Nicole Miller, who has booked the Roxy, a nightclub at 515 West 18th Street, and Richard Tyler, who will again show at 20 Gramercy Park South. These shows will fall under the 7th on Sixth umbrella for logistics and credentials, Mallis said.
“I really loved the piers, but there was not a venue there that worked for me,” said Nicole Miller, who signed a deal with Roxy management Monday to show Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. The venue holds 950 people.
Sources also said several shows, including Todd Oldham, Halston Signature and Ellen Tracy, are arranging to stage presentations at renovated galleries north of the piers in Chelsea. Public relations firm Kevin Krier & Associates is reportedly brokering spaces in the area.
A spokeswoman for Ellen Tracy said the company is considering at least two sites nearby. She would not name them. Executives at Halston, Oldham and Krier could not be reached for comment.
The designers who have booked Chelsea Piers shows are: Anna Sui, Badgley Mischka, Betsey Johnson, John Bartlett, Yeohlee, Jill Stuart, Michael Kors, Gianfranco Ferre, Vivienne Tam, Mary McFadden, Mark Eisen, Bob Mackie, Janet Howard, Kenneth Richard and BCBG by Max Azria.
Still no final word from the big three, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan. Karan has already said she would show her signature collection in her showroom at 550 Seventh Avenue, but has not decided where to show her D line. Klein and Lauren did not return calls asking where they would show.
“There are still a lot of people who have not made up their minds,” Mallis said. “We expect upwards of 40 shows in Pier 59 and nearby venues.”
For four years, 7th on Sixth has produced shows in various venues in and around Bryant Park, within walking distance of most of the design firms and showgoers. —