ALTERNATIVES TO THE TENTS
Byline: Eric Wilson
NEW YORK — At least one show production company is vying to handle some of the runway overflow that’s expected to result from the condensed 7th on Sixth operations in February.
While 7th on Sixth has not formally announced its plans for the next Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Feb. 8-15, sources have said it plans to hold shows in just two Bryant Park venues, for as few as 24 spots, and by invitation only to the designers, as first reported in WWD.
There will likely be designers turned away from the venues, considering there are as many as 100 shows staged in the city each season.
Rand Burrus, president of Rand.M Productions, said on Tuesday that he is working with management of the Puck Building on Broadway and Houston Street to organize alternative locations for some shows. While the details have not been set, the building has spaces for as many as three sites that could accommodate between 160 and 440 seated guests. It was used for the South of Seventh organization in 1998 for shows, many of which were produced by Burrus’s company.
“There’s quite a few shows with no place to go,” Burrus said. “I’m just going to provide a venue for them. I’m not going to compete with 7th on Sixth. This is really to provide an alternative for people who can’t get a time slot or can’t afford to show there.”
Fern Mallis, executive director of 7th on Sixth, said the organization will work with alternative venues including Rand.M’s to facilitate scheduling and transportation.
Burrus contradicted that argument, saying that limiting the number of shows could stifle the development of smaller companies. “I’ve worked with a lot of young people,” he said. “There’s an audience for every show.”
Rand.M has not yet signed any designers to show in the venue but plans to present a proposal of sites and costs later this week, he said.