For 15 years, Bryant Park’s huge tent has been home to runway shows. Come 2010, Bryant Park will be home to NY Fashion no more. Organizers of NY Fashion Week have chosen Lincoln Center to be the event’s new address starting next year.
Why the move?
The reason for the big move is the complaints that the shows got from Park management that the invitation-only shows had grown to large and were limit the public access to the park. Twice a year, NY’s fashion industry puts on a show that draws over 100,000 fashion editors and store buyers.
Zach Eichman , a spokesman for IMG the producers of the shows, declined to comment. The fashion shows which operate as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week to indicate corporate sponsorship, were welcomed in Bryant park back in 1993.
However, there where several brushes with the management company that controls its maintenance and security. These disagreements escalated in 2006, when Bryant Park Corp. announced that it would not longer permit the shows to stage in the park because they were interfering with plans to run a skating rink in the winter and limit the public use of the main lawn in the late summer.
Designers and Vogue editor Anna Wintour asked Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to intercede on their behalf, which then lead to the arrangement for Fashion Week to remain there temporarily at least.
Though there were a hundred shows scheduled to show at galleries and event areas around the city, around 63 designers presented their fall 2009 collections in the park last last February. According to the New York City Economic Development Corporation Fashion Week Generates $466 million in visitor spending every year.
As for IMG’s plans on how to stage Fashion Week at Lincoln Center, there is still no word whether the shows’ producers are planning to recreate the tents on the plaza at the new location or use nearby buildings for extra space, though feasibility study conducted last year suggested that putting up tents on opposite sides of the New York State Theater with a corridor between them – which means guests might have to walk the equivalent of a city block between shows.
The New York Times reported that Daniel A. Biederman, the head of the Bryant Park Corporation criticized the shows in 2006 for causing ongoing disruptions, but ultimately relented.
An IMG executive who spoke on condition of anonymity (because the company does not usually release figures) revealed that the producers pay $1-1.5 million to utilize the space every season.