Byline: Leonard McCants

NEW YORK — After more than 20 fashion shows over 10 years, Nicole Miller has decided to do away with her runway presentation in favor of a still-life setup, inspired by window displays, in the firm’s Seventh Avenue showroom just after New York fashion week.
In its present form, the “tableau” format would feature models in mock window displays that would incorporate trends and looks that will actually be in stores for fall.
“It’s a runway show without the music and without the hype and without the waiting around for half an hour,” said Bud Konheim, chief executive officer. “We just felt that it was time to do something different. It was our chance to do something innovative and challenging.”
He said the presentation would not be held in competition with fashion week, but the week after, which incidentally coincides with the better- and bridge-priced collections’ market week. Miller’s stylish dresses and sportswear are often sold in dress departments or bridge floors of department and better specialty stores and not alongside designer sportswear collections, so the buyers that head for Europe after show week aren’t really the core of Miller’s accounts, which also include a chain of 30 signature stores across the country and in Europe.
One of the initial concerns about not having a runway presentation is that Japanese buyers use runway photos for some of their catalogs and advertising displays. But after discussing the change with them, Konheim said the buyers agreed that they would still be able to take photos and Miller herself will be available for interviews and comment.
But doing away with a runway show does not always mean a cost savings. In the end, this new format may be more expensive, since hiring models and other behind-the-scenes workers for the longer tableau presentation is costly. But, Konheim stressed: “It’s not about the money.”

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