KARAN, MACKIE SHOWS WON’T DOCK AT CHELSEA PIERS

Byline: Eric Wilson

NEW YORK — Donna Karan said Wednesday she will not present her spring D collection at the Chelsea Piers but rather in her 550 Seventh Avenue showroom.
Neither will Bob Mackie. Mackie, who had reserved a space at the Piers, will probably show at the Equitable Building, and BCBG Max Azria may pull out as well. However, Mary McFadden, who was reconsidering her commitment to the centralized venue, said Wednesday she is likely to stick it out and stay there.
And Ellen Tracy has decided to show in the Kevin Krier & Associates brokered space at 525 West 24th Street, where three other designers have already made commitments.
Three seasons ago, Karan pulled her Collection line out of the Bryant Park tents, which were then the centralized 7th on Sixth venue. She has since shown her signature line at her showroom, a long, narrow space that can seat about 450. All of Karan’s collections will be shown in-house this season.
“We feel it’s really an issue of money,” said Patti Cohen, senior vice president for public relations at Donna Karan. “We feel that if we can do both shows here, it’s a cost savings, because you already have the lighting and bleachers in place.”
Prices at Chelsea Piers range from $3,500 for an informal modeling space to $13,500 for a full production at the Gallery, the largest showplace available after Pier 60 was canceled due to lack of interest.
“We don’t have to rent a space, so there will be an overall cost savings,” Cohen said. “Cost has always been a concern of ours. Right now, it’s very important to look at the most efficient and cost-saving methods of doing a show.”
Times for the Donna Karan shows have not been determined, Cohen said.
Bob Mackie is “95 percent” set on the Tower Room at the Equitable Building at 787 Seventh Avenue, between 51st and 52nd Streets, for his show on Nov. 6 at noon, according to a spokeswoman. The 50th floor space will hold 350 guests, a sharp drop from the 1,500 who were seated at the Shubert Theater for Mackie’s fall show.
“We loved the Piers, but, like everyone else, we were concerned with getting in and getting out,” the spokeswoman said. “Bob simply felt that the Tower Room is a gorgeous room and that the clothes will look good against that setting.”
Mary McFadden and company officials toured the New-York Historical Society Monday after Oscar de la Renta and Bill Blass said they would take their shows uptown. However, a spokeswoman for McFadden said Wednesday that the designer would remain in Chelsea, most likely at the Piers.
“We were a little concerned about being so far away,” the spokeswoman said. The New-York Historical Society is at 2 West 77th Street, at Central Park West. “Although the Piers are not ideal, we felt that we should stick with 7th on Sixth.”
Also on Wednesday, Ellen Tracy confirmed it will show Nov. 4 at 11 a.m. at the Chelsea art gallery where, as reported, Carolina Herrera and Todd Oldham will show. Pamela Dennis is also considering showing there, but has not decided whether to put on a formal runway show this season.
“We wanted to show near the Piers so that we would be close enough not to be inconvenient to the editors and retailers,” said an Ellen Tracy spokeswoman.
BCBG Max Azria was negotiating with Nicole Miller officials on Wednesday to share production costs at the Roxy — a much larger space — where Miller has said she would show. The company had booked Pier 60 at the 7th on Sixth venue, but was forced to scale down its show when that venue was canceled.
“We’re holding our space at the Piers, but checking to see if sharing the space at the Roxy is feasible,” said a BCBG spokesman.
Of the 31 designers who have booked spaces at Chelsea Piers, 16 had made deposits to 7th on Sixth as of Wednesday afternoon, said Fern Mallis, executive director.
“I’m perfectly content with how this has shaped up,” Mallis said. “Seventh on Sixth is ubiquitous. It works anywhere.”
In other fashion week news, the Whitney Museum of American Art will host the annual 7th on Sixth kickoff party on Nov. 2, featuring a preview of its Andy Warhol exhibit, “The Warhol Look/Glamour Style Fashion,” which opens Nov. 8.

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