LINCOLN CENTER — Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is offering some pretty slim pickings in terms of free food in the tents this year, spectators say.
Fashionistas are saying that sponsored food has taken a decidedly minimalistic twist, with the main staples being mineral water, probiotic yogurt, tea and the occasional Fiber One bar.
While many say they are grateful to have anything — especially water — some fashionistas and bloggers contend that the skimpy model-suitable options are a disappointing departure from years past.
"I'd like to see more of a Whole Foods vibe than anything else," fashion business strategist Jey Van-Sharp, 29, said, adding that people need nutrition after running around from show to show all day. "Maybe more of a multi-grain situation. This is just crazy."
At a mere 80 calories, the "Lifeway" frozen kefir, a yogurt-like snack, is 99 percent lactose free, all natural, gluten free and has 10 probiotics per serving. Made with only half a gram of fat and in flavors including lemon, the yogurt may please those trying to tighten their belts, but left others craving something more substantial.
"It's interesting. It tastes healthy, but I'm not sure it actually is," photographer Maxwell Coviello, 21, added, mentioning that he had nicknamed it "model food." "They're definitely pushing the slimming aspect."
At the tents Monday, Fashion Week attendees found themselves reminiscing over the days of free chips (popped, of course), sweetened coffee drinks and even soda.
"It's definitely a departure from what I'm used to," Brooklyn stylist Chris Law, 28, said, adding that he preferred when Fashion Week served sugary coffee and biscotti.
"I really miss the coffee," he added. "We're running around trying to make shows and partying the night before, so it's definitely missed."
Others lapped up the lemony yogurt, pointing out that those craving more carbohydrates can buy them from the tent's cafe, which offers breakfast sandwiches with ham, turkey and tuna sandwiches for lunch, and plenty of coffee.
"I love the idea of the water and the yogurt, especially in the heat," Prutha Raithatha, a fashion blogger and SoHo resident, said, referring to the area of the tent near the box presentations where the air conditioning was less powerful.
"I'd prefer yogurt to something like a granola bar anyway."
Others said that while it's not ideal, change is to be expected at these events.
"It's about change, that's what fashion is all about, anyway," Law said. "As they're changing what's on the runways, they're changing what they're offering us."
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