CHICAGO — Seeking to give a glimpse of New York’s runway shows to the rest of the country, IMG Fashion announced plans Tuesday to bring FashionWeekLive to Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Francisco in March.

The consumer event, with ticket prices starting at $500, will feature pre- and post-show parties along with a one-hour multimedia fashion show highlighting key fall 2007 looks from 20 to 30 top U.S. designers and modeled by the likes of Naomi Campbell and Gemma Ward.

“Chicago, Houston, Dallas and San Francisco are among the most fashion-savvy cities in the world, and there is a real interest in this sort of event, which will allow high-end consumers to take a look at the designers’ collections before they are available anywhere,” said Fern Mallis, vice president of IMG Fashion, which produces New York’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

FashionWeekLive kicks off at Victory Park in Dallas on March 6 and then heads to Water Wall in Houston March 8, Millennium Park here March 13 and to Fort Mason Center in San Francisco on March 15.

Show producer and director Kevin Krier said the fashion segment would feature “the best of the best” from fashion week, fusing the work of top designers and more “renegade” talent, along with a small men’s wear segment and trend watch. More than 90 percent of the show will be the same in each city, although each event’s beginning and ending will be tailored to its location.

The Chicago and San Francisco events also will showcase work from one local designer, and each show will include a personal appearance and capsule collection from one national designer. Campbell, who appeared at a press conference here on Tuesday as a spokeswoman for the event, said she was thrilled to bring fashion week to the consumer.

“The general public is more appreciative,” she said. “They clap more.”

This story first appeared in the January 24, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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