World Coast Management’s 'official' L.A Fashion Week events canceled abruptly.
Designers, publicists and fashion fans are baffled by the sudden cancellation of World Coast Management's L.A Fashion Week, which had been slated to take place Oct. 20-25 at L.A. Production Studios. Fourteen designers were listed on the roster of WCM's website to show their collections for spring/summer 2011 during three nights of runway shows which were to be bookended by a party and a trade show. But many of them found out only on Wednesday night that the events had been canceled.
WCM's events were scheduled as part of a two-week-long series of fashion-related events with various sponsors collectively known as "L.A. Fashion Week." Jennifer Uner, publisher and organizer of the umbrella fashion calendar on www.fashionweekla.com, said she received an e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org -- the WCM fashion week website -- saying the events had been canceled.
Besides locals, designers from Hungary, Germany and Mexico had planned to show their lines during the WCM events. As of Thursday, no official notification had been given to designers or their publicists by the event's producer, Susan Costa. Costa did not return calls from the Times seeking comment, but the WCM website has recently been amended to state that all runway shows planned under the “Official L.A Fashion Week” banner have been canceled. No official statement has been released by WCM as to why the event suddenly shuttered, but according to Uner, a media alert containing no contact information was circulated from “email@example.com” saying the event's organizers had been unable to obtain necessary permits from the city Fire Department.
In an e-mail Thursday, deigner Anh Volcek, creative director of L'une Collection, and publicist Heather Witbeck of Shine A Light PR expressed the outrage felt in the fashion community: "As designers, creative directors, and publicists, we are outraged and utterly disappointed that Costa did not look into this [the permit issue] before signing up designers."
Meanwhile on Friday, Fashion Los Angeles, a group that is organizing a new round of fashion presentations set to debut in February, announced it has joined forces with Two Point Oh LA, an organization that includes 80 of Los Angeles’ biggest fashion and beauty bloggers, to offer the displaced designers an opportunity to meet with local media. The Bloggers’ Cafe event is schduled to take place at Fashion Los Angeles headquarters, 600 S. Spring St., Suite 1708, Los Angeles, from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday.
-- Melissa Magsaysay
Photo: A look from designer Jen Awad's fall/winter 2010 collection. Awad was one of 14 designers who had planned to show their spring/summer 2011 collections at the WCM L.A Fashion Week event. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times.