ATLANTA — The Savannah College of Art and Design’s new fashion and film museum is targeting 75,000 visitors by 2019, as it plans to hold four to six rotating exhibitions a year showcasing works from famous and emerging designers, photographers and filmmakers, said executive director Alexandra Sachs.
This year, SCAD FASH hopes to draw 20,000 to 25,000 visitors, based on attendance at its latest show, “Carolina Herrera, Refined Irreverence,” which is expected to draw more than 10,000 to the facility that opened on SCAD’s Atlanta campus last October.
British designer and fashion stylist Daniel Lismore’s “Be Yourself; Everyone Else Is Already Taken” exhibit, which ran from Jan. 22 to May 1, had an attendance of 5,000, according to Sachs. That came on top of SCAD FASH’s maiden Oscar de La Renta show, which attracted 10,500 fans last fall.
Sachs would not provide investment figures for the new facility, which added 10,000 square feet of working space to the college’s 27,000-square-foot building. SCAD FASH has one large and one small gallery, as well as a media library for film and digital presentations. The permanent collection features 1,000 garments by designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Oscar de la Renta and Givenchy.
“We had a great turnout for Oscar de la Renta’s first posthumous exhibit,” Sachs said. “Given the same love people have for Carolina Herrera, we would expect that number to be matched or exceeded.” The Herrera exhibit runs until Sept. 25 and has installations in both Atlanta and SCAD’s Museum of Art in Savannah.
Alongside the Herrera show is a smaller one devoted to the late photographer Bill Cunningham, “Grand Divertissement à Versailles,” featuring exclusive shots of the John B. Fairchild-dubbed “Battle of Versailles” runway show of French and American designers in Paris in 1973. Cunningham famously photographed Herrera in a white evening gown in 1979.
SCAD FASH, which charges a $10 admission, also plans to sell roughly 500 memberships annually, with prices ranging from $50 to $70 for the public and $30 for SCAD staff. In 2016, the school estimates selling around 300 memberships, from 175 currently. Exhibit catalogues and other museum media will also be marketed. Based on those estimates, SCAD FASH’s base turnover could near $1 million in three years.