PARIS — Calling all Julies: It looks like the fashion industry might soon need its own cruise director.

In another sign that cruise or pre-spring collections are gaining momentum and international prominence, Christian Dior said Thursday that John Galliano would travel to New York to present Dior’s cruise collection on May 16.

The venue and other details have yet to be finalized, but the collection will be presented on models, a Dior spokesman told WWD. It marks the first time Dior has done a show for its pre-spring collection.

Chanel already has indicated its intentions to stage a cruise show in New York on May 17. Karl Lagerfeld usually presents the line in Paris, and in the past has put his models on a riverboat, in a bustling cafe and on a fleet of double-decker buses.

That two major French houses are decamping to New York, which has a longer history of small-scale resort showings, suggests the season will become a more intense moment in the annual fashion calendar.

Gucci was a European pioneer last year in staging a runway show for cruise at the Gagosian Gallery in Manhattan, which generated press coverage worldwide and was later linked to in-store marketing. A Gucci spokeswoman confirmed Thursday the brand would return to New York for a “mini show” some time in June.

Many European houses have not yet set their cruise agendas, but it is believed others are mulling a show format.

Accounting for between 70 and 80 percent of total spring-summer designer sales, cruise collections are becoming more expansive and newsworthy, garnering more editorial credits and finding their way on to more red carpets and runways and into advertising campaigns.

The need for earlier and more frequent deliveries has been driving the growth of pre-collections, which allow a longer selling window and refresh sales floors.

This story first appeared in the March 31, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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