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New York Fashion Week moves to Lincoln Center; IMG-produced L.A. Fashion Week still a possibility

February 3, 2009 |  1:32 pm

Rage_lincolncenterNew York's biannual Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week will move from its current home in midtown's Bryant Park to Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center beginning in September 2010, said Fern Mallis, senior vice president of IMG Fashion, which produces the shows.

The new location will have 25% more room than the old location, but it is farther uptown than the tents at Bryant Park, which could make it all the more challenging to lure designers, many of whom already show in Chelsea or SoHo instead. "We have a year and a half to figure that out," Mallis said by phone today. "But if we build the platforms and spaces the industry feels are right, they will come."

We'll see. As it is, only about one-third of all New York Fashion Week events are held at Bryant Park. That said, the move offers the possibility to add a consumer aspect to the runway shows which, with the surging interest in fashion on TV and the Internet, would be smart.

"I don't see why we couldn't attach that element, if for no other reason than the fact that we will be at a place that has the capacity to sell tickets," Mallis said. Lincoln Center also offers synergistic opportunities, as it is home to 12 arts organizations including the New York City Ballet and the Metropolitan Opera. At the very least, Mallis envisions the possibility of an exhibit of ballet or opera costumes created by fashion designers, or a runway presentation that incorporates props from the opera or ballet.

The runway shows at Bryant Park began in 1993 with 35 shows. This season, which begins Feb. 13, will include more than 70 shows.

IMG has also produced Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Los Angeles for the last five years, partnering with Smashbox Studios to host runway shows in Culver City. But that partnership ended in October and so did IMG's involvement. "The location and format were not inspiring everyone to take it to the next level," Mallis said. "But when the right opportunity is there and the timing is right we'll be back."

-- Booth Moore 

Photo: Lincoln Center, future home of New York's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Credit: Richard Drew/AP

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