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IMG Fashion, responsible for the grand circus of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center in New York, is retooling the way they do things. Several spokesmen from the company, plus designers big and small, spoke with the Wall Street Journal to pinpoint the major changes coming this spring, many of which have been foreshadowed by the general dissatisfaction shared by fashion media, designers, buyers, and more.
Amy Odell, seasoned fashion writer and newly appointed editor of Cosmopolitan.com, has dreamed the dream of a single, convenient fashion week arena. She told us at the end of the spring shows in September that, "People don't show in Lincoln Center because they want something that's unique and Lincoln Center maybe feels less unique than finding a venue that other people aren't using. But I think that logistically, people would appreciate [...] using a centralized location. I would love that."
Indeed, a call to restructure is unanimously agreed upon in the fashion world, but the specific changes IMG have chosen to impose imply that Lincoln Center has been on the road to obsoletion. Established designers' shows are too big, leaving little room for smaller designers for reason like expense, the novelty factor, and crowded schedules. Whitney Pozgay, of emerging brand WHIT told Racked, "It would be interesting if more people kind of took on that challenge and thought of alternative ways to give a forum to young brands."
Below, find five major changes to expect this spring that IMG hopes will be an antidote to New York Fashion Week fatigue.
1. Guest lists will be cut by about 20%, according to an IMG spokesman. Those invited will be "of value to the designers," so more buyers and established editors rather than street style stars, bloggers, and celebrities.
2. IMG will attempt to drive down costs to present. The Hub at Hudson, created for younger designers, will go for $15,000, compared with $18,000 at the former Box venue. The Salon will cost $45,000 compared to $47,500 at the Stage venue.
3. Up-and-coming designers get a new space. The Hub at Hudson, which will be located at the Hudson Hotel, a few blocks from Lincoln Center, will be pitched to younger designers, perhaps to draw them back from their darling MILK Studios downtown.
4. The new space will be accessible by SHUTTLES. Weary heel stompers need not worry about the pain of traveling to off-site show venues. IMG will provide transportation to aid their goal of minimizing conflicting schedules, which previously made fashion week seem like a constant sprint to and from locations.
5. A major redesign of the show venues is planned to allow space for courting media. Lighting and sound in The Theater will be revamped, and it will have a larger backstage area specifically designed for interviews. The Salon venue (formerly known as The Stage) gets those updates as well as a reduced seating availability. It can handle 500 people.