NEW YORK CITY — Where, oh "wear" will New York Fashion Week go?
Word hit last month that IMG’s tents and runways will no longer be welcome at Lincoln Center after this February’s fashion week shows.
While IMG has yet to announce the location of its September event, the organization is zeroing in on a “downtown” location, according to industry publication Women's Wear Daily.
Still, here are five locations IMG could tap for September’s fashion week, according to designers, fashion insiders and major event planners:
1) A Scattering of Smaller Spaces Around the Meatpacking District
“I think the smart money would be on a string of venues under the banner of IMG and all in the south-west corner of Manhattan,” said Professor Susan Scafidi from the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham University.
With IMG absorbing Made Fashion Week, which is located at Milk Studios on West 15th Street and Tenth Avenue, Scafidi said Milk Studios or the nearby Chelsea Piers could be used as Fashion Week’s central gathering place. Nearby venues such as Spring Studio in Tribeca, SIR Stage 37 on West 37th Street and Skylight Modern on West 27th Street would be needed so IMG could continue to host the 70-plus runway shows, according to Scafidi.
A scattering of smaller venues could also address recent criticism that IMG’s fashion week has become a public spectacle rather than an industry event of designers selling to buyers, according to stylist Dawn Del Russo.
“I remember seeing [designer] Betsey Johnson’s show 10 years ago. They were not trying to fit 200 or 300 hundred people into a space. It was 50 or 100,” she said.
However, cutting the guest would be a big issue for the designers behind Nicholas K, who will have up to 500 people at their Lincoln Center show this February. It will be their fifth year working with IMG.
“You still want that exposure and these days you have bloggers who participate and non-conventional media,” said Christopher Kunz, who created the brand along with his sister, Nicholas. “I couldn’t imagine sitting there thinking: ‘Oh, that editor can’t come.”
2) Do the Impossible and Make Javits Center Sexy
To create a custom venue that contains numerous runways and foyers, IMG constructed a massive and luxurious tent over the 87,000 square feet that is the city-owned Damrosch Park within the Lincoln Center grounds. The Javits Center could provide a similar space and can be manipulated without the expense of building temporary structures, according to Dan Mannix, the president and CEO of the New York City-based LeadDog Marketing Group, which organizes large-scale events.
However, the venue that is more associated with car shows and trade show booths isn’t a match for IMG’s brand perception, according to Del Russo.
"I don’t think it lends itself to fashion,” she said.
3) Pier 26 as New York Fashion Week’s New Tent City
Pier 26’s 80,000 square feet is one of the few vacant areas in downtown Manhattan that can rival the size of what IMG has at Lincoln Center.
The unfinished public park isn’t often open to the general public and is occasionally rented out for events, according to spokeswoman from Hudson River Park Trust, the organization that oversees Pier 26. She added that the trust is not in direct negotiations with IMG over Fashion Week.
The bare bones nature of the pier would allow IMG to keep its tent setup, Mannix said.
Nicholas Kunz from Nicholas K said keeping the shows at one location is better for buyers, editors, models and designers.
"IMG gives you a seamless, smooth production that makes it easy for us,” said Nicholas.
4) Keep It Close to Vogue at Brookfield Place
With Vogue magazine recently moving offices to One World Trade Center, a Battery Park City location would be convenient for its influential fashion editors, according to Scafidi from the Fashion Law Institute.
“I’m sure Conde Nast [Vogue’s umbrella company] would love that,” she said.
A five-minute walk from the doors of One World Trade Center is Brookfield Place, which contains about 40,000 square feet of privately-owned public space outside along the Hudson River.
It has been the site of Tribeca Film Festival screenings as well as concerts, but Mannix said the layout of the space could prove inflexible for IMG’s tent structures.
5) Or Move the Whole Thing to Brooklyn
Perhaps designer Alexander Wang set off more than just a trend of schoolgirl pleated skirts when he held his Fall Winter 2014 runway show at Brooklyn Navy Yards last February.
While a move across the East River could benefit the borough and emerging designer residents, any benefit would be trumped by the inconvenience to media and buyers, according to Scafidi.
“Anything that makes it easy for them [buyers and editors] is better for us,” said Christopher Kunz.