July 29, 2009

News flash: NYFW turns into a catfight, er, catwalk fight!

We've all heard plenty of gossip about rivalries between designers (Yves vs. Karl, anyone?), editors (Anna vs. Carine!), models, and even retailers, but this is something else – dueling New York Fashion Week venues! For September, Milk Studios and M.A.C. beauty products have teamed up to offer an alternative to the Bryant Park tents, and have snagged a bevy of hot young designers, including Alexander Wang (pictured), Proenza Schouler, and Peter Som. Best of all, the new venue is free for the designers. That's right, FREE – a $26,000+ savings over Bryant Park.

Lest IMG's Fern Mallis feel that M.A.C. is stealing her thunder, Estée Lauder group president John Demsey points out that all but of these designers don't show at the tents anyway; M.A.C. is simply consolidating them under one roof. And IMG is providing a shuttle bus between the two locations – provided, that is, that the shows don't conflict with IMG's.

Hard as this may be for IMG, it's great news for designers, who can concentrate their budgets on staying in business in these tough times rather than putting on shockingly expensive shows. And this Meatpacking District location is a great replacement for Bumble & Bumble's dearly departed venue, which featured up-and-coming designers showing in the hair empire's flagship location.

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