Thursday, October 23, 2014 Headlines & Global News

New York Fashion Week Changes 2014: New Venues, Less Seating, Extra VIP Guest Lists

By Rebeka Silva | Dec 05, 2013 03:52 PM EST

New York Fashion Week
Jezebel looked at 148 shows during eight days of previews concluding Thursday and found only 985 looks were worn by models of color out of 4,621.


(Photo : Reuters)

IMG Fashion announced changes to the 2014 Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, more commonly known as New York Fashion Week, that will include better venues and extra-VIP guests lists on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The event, which is held twice a year at the Lincoln Center, has gotten complaints and bad feedback in the past from designers and attendees as its grown over-crowded with fashion bloggers, or fashion enthusiasts, who just want to get access to a show, the Journal reported. New York Fashion Week 2014 is Feb. 6-13.

Senior vice president and managing director at IMG Fashion Events and Properties Catherine Bennett told the Journal the event "was becoming a zoo."

"What used to be a platform for established designers to debut their collections to select media and buyers has developed into a cluttered, often cost-prohibitive and exhausting period for our industry to effectively do business," Bennett said.

The venues being redesigned are the Theater, the Salon, and the Stage venues, all of which received lighting and production upgrades, the Journal reported. Jarrad Clark, IMG's Fashion vice president and global creative director said the Stage, for example, will now seat 500 for a smaller show.

A major change is the amount of people allowed in through guest lists, or by any other means, according to the Journal. IMG plans to reduce the amount of attendees not directly linked to the fashion world, and some designers have already begun shortening their guest lists.

The Pavilion, a new venue to be used during Fashion Week 2014, will be designed to create a more modern feel and allows variation on seating accommodations, according to the Journal. A new space has also been added near Lincoln Center called The Hub at Hudson which will be geared for up-and-coming designers.

The cost for renting the venues for the shows were also extremely high, especially for shows which only run about 10 minutes each. Prices have been lowered, for example at the Salon venue which used to go for $47,500, but will now cost $45,000, according to the JournalBigger shows, or bigger brands, may spend as much as $1 million on a venue, so the rental fees have been a huge target for change in the upcoming shows. The new venues have been added to offer spaces which are also more affordable.

The Chief Executive of the CFDA Steven Kolb said the thinks the added venues and new designs are "a great thing."

"The proof, though, is in the pudding," Kolb told the Journal. "Whether or not [everything] will happen, will come in February. I think it will." 

Just because the venues are being redesigned doesn't automatically mean more seating spaces, at least not for fashion bloggers, or street-style photographers, according to the Journal.

The purpose of the new direction of updated spaces, and new ones, is to reduce and actively control the audience capacity, "making invitations once again an exclusive pass for true fashion insiders," IMG told the JournalOne of the major complaints is the massive amount of fashion bloggers and fashion fans who arrive on the scene in swarms, leaving a tight space for the additional celebrities and hundreds of journalists present.

Rebecca Minkoff, a designer who usually shows her collections at the Theater venue, among other tents, says she always enters through the back because of the lack of space in the press and greeting areas.

"My fingers are crossed they are going to pull this off," Minkoff told the Journal. "Obviously with anything new, there are a few glitches. I'm expecting less than normal."

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