EXPANDING REACH: Fashion Group International has linked up with Greenwich Entertainment, the North American distributors of the documentary “The Times of Bill Cunningham.”
FGI president and chief executive officer Maryanne Grisz is expected to reveal the partnership news tonight at a private screening in New York City. Tonight’s event at the Angelika Film Center is geared for FGI members and its board of directors. Grisz said in a statement issued Monday, “The synergistic relationship between film and fashion has never been stronger, particularly as we look to film for exciting new ways to present fashion and innovative messaging to the world.”
After watching the 74-minute film, which opened last month, tonight’s attendees can listen to a one-on-one conversation between the flick’s coproducer and director Mark Bozek and Donna Karan. The pair will speak of some of their memories of Cunningham. The documentary is anchored in a 1994 interview that Bozek conducted with The New York Times street photographer. What was supposed to be a 10-minute conversation lasted for a few hours. Cunningham died in 2016 at the age of 87.
The film is narrated by actress Sarah Jessica Parker. In the documentary, Cunningham recounts his days of working as a milliner in France during the Korean War, his relationship with First Lady Jackie Kennedy and his four decades of photographic reportage chronicling fashion and society. “I’ve always been crazed about fashion — I mean, a nutcase,” Bill Cunningham told WWD in 2014.
At the helm of FGI, Grisz has said she wants to play up the experiential and build up different regions of the group’s member base. Bozek will join fashion activist and modeling agent Bethann Hardison in a post-screening conversation Friday in Chicago. In addition to the Windy City, FGI is also cooking up members events for Atlanta, Toronto and other yet-to-be-announced markets.
The alliance with Greenwich Entertainment points toward a new direction for FGI. Grisz said, “Fashion Group’s membership is comprised of dynamic, forward-thinking professionals who are always interested in what’s new and next. By extending FGI’s collaborations into the film and entertainment communities, we are forging new pathways, opportunities and bonds for our members to connect with thought leaders.”
Going forward, FGI and Greenwich Entertainment “are committed to exploring possibilities beyond this film,” the spokeswoman said.