Photo by WWD of Bryant Park Tents Getting Set-up
On February 3, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced the new agreement between Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week officials to move the show from Bryant Park and their famously overcrowded tents, to Lincoln Center as of Fall 2010. The news comes just before the Fall 2009 collections are to be shown at Bryant Park February 13th and on the heals of news that many designers have pulled out of the show as a way to trim costs. However, according the Mercedes-Benz, the new move to Lincoln Park will allow the show to grow in the future, expanding the space from 70,000 square feet to 85,000.
“The fashion industry is a vital part of our City’s economy, providing more than 175,000 jobs and generating billions of dollars in wages for New Yorkers annually,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Ensuring the industry’s long-term success and promoting Fashion Week %u2013 the industry’s greatest showcase %u2013 is more important than ever as we work to retain and create jobs during these difficult times and diversify the City’s economy. We were determined to work with the Council of Fashion Designers of America and IMG Fashion to identify a location for Fashion Week that would allow it to grow and thrive in New York City, and we could not have arrived at more ideal location than Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center.”
The collections, which began being shown in New York City’s Bryant Park in 1993 with about 35 shows, have grown dramatically to about 70 shows per season, showcasing the leading American and international designers. Last year, the two annual events drew 232,000 attendees, generated $466 million in direct visitor spending, and resulted in an overall economic impact on New York City of $773 million. New York City’s fashion industry provides 175,000 jobs, $1.6 billion in annual tax revenue and $10 billion in total wages. More than 800 fashion companies are headquartered in New York City, more than double the number headquartered in Paris, its next closest competitor.
While the move is highly anticipated in a good way among many designers, there are some that are going to miss all the mishaps of the Bryant Park tents. WWD ran a hilarious story reflecting on what went down over the last 18 years at Bryant Park, showing that sometimes the fashion industry can make fun of itself after all.