DESIGNER SQUEEZE: Not everyone planning to show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week’s tents in Bryant Park in New York will find a home there come September. In a letter obtained by WWD, Fern Mallis, IMG Fashion’s senior vice president, is notifying those designers who didn’t make the cut this season. “While we would have loved to present your collection in the tents this season, we have had an overwhelming number of requests for time slots and spaces,” Mallis said in the letter, which is going out today. Also, the event’s footprint is smaller this season and will lose one venue to reduce the impact on the park.

“With only three venues this season, and a holiday which has completely confused and restricted the schedule, we unfortunately will only be able to accommodate approximately 60 shows as opposed to last season’s 80-plus shows,” Mallis said.

This story first appeared in the June 28, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The list of those not making the cut could not be learned, but the letter is sure to send designers into a frenzy since they are now faced with having to find a new venue for their runway presentations. IMG Fashion and the Bryant Park Corp. continue to negotiate to find a solution for the future of New York Fashion Week in the park. “Please give us another try next season (Feb. 1-8) when we hope we can be more flexible and accommodating,” Mallis concluded in the letter.

SHOE IN: The fashion flock’s favorite European shoe store has finally landed Stateside. Iris — the Italian manufacturer of footwear for John Galliano, Chloé, Viktor & Rolf, Marc Jacobs and Paul Smith — feted its new Washington Street outpost Tuesday night. “Not even the stores on Fifth Avenue carry these,” said Niccolò Carpani Glisenti, Iris U.S. president, proudly pointing to the Paul Smith collection. “So many people love shoes,” said Olivia Chantecaille, who hosted the party on behalf of Young Friends of Save Venice. Indeed, the minimalist space, all white walls and silver couches, was packed with throngs of people ogling the newest fall styles.

PAX THE POSTER BOY: Is attaching a celebrity name to your brand not enough these days? Go for their kids. That seems to be the strategy of Diesel, which sent out a release on Wednesday, via its publicists at Starworks, alerting the media that Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt “has worn a Diesel kid’s jacket from spring-summer ’07 on his way to school in Prague.” Four paparazzi shots of the tyke wearing said jacket, with dad Brad Pitt and siblings Maddox and Zahara in tow, accompanied the text.

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