New York Fashion Week is officially over. And while New York’s winter is not even close to ending (heck, we haven’t even begun to see the inkling of spring) people in the fashion industry are already talking about fall 2015. And not just because they work on a clock that is six months ahead of the ordinary-department store-wearing consumer. But, because the iconic event of New York Fashion Week is going through some major personality adjustments, in almost every way possible.
While the season of fall certainly implies change, fashion week is getting a true makeover, and location might be the biggest change of them all. IMG, the company that hosts Mercedes Benz Fashion Week each year, is relocating from the iconic Lincoln Center to an undisclosed venue in downtown Manhattan. The transition will come after this February’s shows at Lincoln Center.
Take a step back and look at where NYFW has come from. Over TWENTY years ago (circa 1993), New York Fashion Week was officially born and became an established event in New York, where all the major designers would come to debut their latest collections. Tents would pop up all over midtown Manhattan (back when it was housed in Bryant Park) for the latest trends and styles. When NYFW got too big for Bryant Park it relocated to Lincoln Center and became the fashion hub of Columbus Circle.
But alas, change is in the air. A recent lawsuit settlement between IMG and a local park has NYFW making the move downtown. The Supreme Court has ruled that NYFW cannot set up camp at Lincoln Center, and IMG cannot renew their contract with the Lincoln Center of Performing Arts.
Although reports have said that the event will definitely not be relocated to Brooklyn, there are little to no other clues for where exactly the event will take place. The possibilities are quite, well, endless.
Some (including Mayor Michael Bloomberg) say that the Hudson Yards “the future home of New York Fashion Week.” Future as early as 2017 or 2018, since the Hudson Yards redevelopment project is still under construction. For the remaining 3 years in between? IMG shared that “as the fashion industry continues to evolve, [they have] been actively looking for a new home for NYFW that gives designers and partners the best possible environment to share their creative visions.” Strategically located between 10th and 12th avenues from West 30th to West 34th Street, Hudson Yards is being called the “new heart of New York” and could likely make a nice place for the permanent home of New York Fashion Week.
It has also been rumored that IMG will be acquiring Made Fashion Week (also known as Milk Made in association with Milk Studios Group). Milk Made is another fashion platform that showcases designer’s collections during Fashion Weeks in cities such as New York and Paris.
Why’s this a big deal? Milk Made is the rival organization of MBFW. So with IMG buying them, the two will combine to form one giant stage for upcoming fashion.
Mercedes Benz, the title sponsor of New York Fashion Week for the past five years, will be leaving behind their namesake event. The name change is still in transition, but it is also rumored that “Mercedes Benz Fashion Week” (MBFW) will become simply (and officially) just “New York Fashion Week”.
Is Mercedes dropping the sponsorship because of the legal issues and lease violations? Maybe, but that’s just speculation.
It’s clear that things are changing for New York Fashion Week. It’s the end of a lot of things we’ve come to know and associate with this biannual event. But this is fashion. Most people in the industry probably won’t bat a perfectly lined eyelash at all the changes. And it’s on to new beginnings for New York Fashion Week.