DALLAS — The Dallas Market Center has canceled this year’s Dallas Fashion Awards and plans to apply its budget to bringing retailers to wholesale shows here.

This story first appeared in the May 5, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Conferring with exhibitors and manufacturers “has led us to the conclusion that for the remainder of 2009 we should focus 100 percent of our resources on our core mission: bringing more buyers to market and providing the best market experience,” said Cindy Morris, chief operating officer. “We will reevaluate the program at the end of the year.”

Brad Hughes, whose namesake showroom is the largest within FashionCenterDallas at the DMC, was one of the exhibitors who recommended suspending the awards and possibly replacing them next year with a less-formal celebration.

“The awards has lost a little bit of its cachet because of attendance and the logistics of getting designers down to Dallas for the ceremony,” he said. “I’m excited that the money that was used for it will go to bringing more retailers into the marketplace in Dallas. It served its purpose.”

Since 1975 the awards have highlighted the market’s best-performing labels in a variety of categories as determined by a poll of retailers, garnering publicity in the process. The black-tie ceremony and dinner was traditionally held at the DMC during the October show, and a portion of ticket sales benefited charities.

The DMC ramped up the gala’s glamour by presenting special awards to internationally known designers and personalities, most of whom accepted their trophies in person and presented a runway show. Honorees have included: Carolina Herrera, Hubert de Givenchy, Gianni Versace, Todd Oldham and Isaac Mizrahi.

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