More than 2,000 consumers are expected to descend on Fort Lauderdale from Jan. 26 to 29. The extravaganza will feature an assortment of activities including a buy-now Nicole Miller al fresco runway show for 800 people at the W Fort Lauderdale followed by an after party at the W’s Wet Decks.
Underground Lauderdale Fashion Weekend is being organized with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Office of Film, Music, and Entertainment. Officials in the seaside city of 165,521 are making a concerted effort to upgrade its cultural quotient. Bartsch, who will host a closing night party, said Tuesday, “I’m really excited to be part of it and Fort Lauderdale is getting cooler and cooler actually. I think it’s a good idea that they’re trying to bring more of a fashion element over there.”
Zoe will host the opening night’s festivities, which will include Miller’s outdoor fashion show. Miller said her involvement made sense especially since her year-old Beach La Plage collection is particularly popular with Florida shoppers. The designer will show a combination of her spring and La Plage collections on the runway. “It’s a big market for us so I thought it was very good to get more exposure where the customer is down there,” she said.
Miller will be in Fort Lauderdale next month for ULF even though her New York runway show will be weeks away. “But at that time, I’ll have most things done.”
But ULF will not be a warm-up for a buy-now runway show during New York Fashion Week in February. “Absolutely not — I am not on the buy-now wagon. I think that kind of destroys the excitement of a show. For fashion week, it has to be something brand, brand new. I think that whole buy-now-wear-now is going to disappear and it will become an item thing. At a fashion show you will have one or two items that are available and preferably a handbag,” she said.
In Florida, Bartsch plans to install elements from “Fashion Underground: The World of Susanne Bartsch,” a retrospective exhibition that was held at the Museum at FIT. “I’m excited to mix the underground fashion-as-art with the more commercial fashion components,” she said. Before she hosts the Finale Warehouse Extravaganza in FATVillage, an art gallery warehouse event space in Fort Lauderdale’s arts district, she will orchestrate an installation with six up-and-coming designers.
“Everyone is Art Basel-ed out but I’m talking to Claire Fleury, Bcalla’s Bradley Callahan, Hannah Jenkison, designers that are not yet known or who are part of the underground scene. There will be five sets with these five designers during the day in different locations of the W Hotel,” she said.
Zoe will host the opening night festivities. UFL will also feature a Thought Leader Panel hosted by IVY and Create & Cultivate’s Style Symposium with bloggers, entrepreneurs and other fashion personalities. There will also be a “Luxury VIP Styling Suite,” presented by The Colonnade Outlets at Sawgrass Mills, a multi-branded beauty lounge, pop-up fashion and accessories experiences, and of course numerous pool, beach and party activities. The W Fort Lauderdale will offer sunrise boot camp and yoga on the beach.
Stacy Ritter, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, said, “We are delighted to be able to help make this exciting concept a reality and look forward to the top names in fashion being here to shine a spotlight on the tremendous shopping and fashion opportunities for our visitors.”