NEXT STOP LITTLE WEST 12TH: While numerous designers are switching cities and schedules for a change of pace instead of another round at New York Fashion Week, Carolina Herrera will be switching things up by staging her show downtown.
After three consecutive seasons at the Frick Collection on the Upper East Side, the designer will present her fall collection at 10 a.m. on Feb. 13 in the Meatpacking District. In lieu of the serene Fifth Avenue museum that was once what industrialist and financier Henry Clay Frick called home, the company has decided on a considerably more unfinished space at 25 Little West 12th Street. The move is meant to relay “the essence of uptown-meets-downtown attitude,” by being situated in a neighborhood steeped with New York history. Herrera said Tuesday, “I love New York and discovering unexpected hidden treasures and as soon as I walked into the space I thought it was perfect!”
Using the Meatpacking District address for next month’s show could be a sure sign of a new era at Carolina Herrera Ltd. Following the exit of Francois Kress as chief executive officer earlier this month, Emilie Rubinfeld was promoted to president and Lauren Astry Sorensen took on the role of vice president of global marketing and communications. Even though the company settled a lawsuit with Oscar de la Renta over a non-compete agreement with Laura Kim, Carolina Herrera executives seem determined to convey a more spirited attitude.
With more than 150 shows on the docket for next month’s installment of New York Fashion Week, Skylight Clarkson Square is one of the more popular venues. But Herrera will be the first and only designer to have a runway show in the 25,000-square-foot space in the Meatpacking District. Located between 9th Avenue and Washington Street, the building was originally built in 1901 but more recent multimillion-dollar renovations by the Lansco Corp. have resulted in a raw, yet refined space that Herrera hopes will symbolize its modernity. With 15- to 25-foot ceilings, the building has a skylight designed by architect I.M. Pei. (In February 2015, Herrera’s spring advertising campaign used the National Gallery of Art’s I.M. Pei-designed glass buildings as a backdrop.)
Created for the headquarters and printing house for Collier’s magazine, the building, which is part of the NYC Gansevoort Market Historic District, has its own significant artistic tie. The poet Edward Estlin Cummings (better known as “E.E. Cummings”) got a job there 100 years ago, placing shipment orders in its mail order book department and not writing for the weekly as he had hoped, according to Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation’s executive director Andrew Berman.