New York Fashion Week Gets a WME Makeover
Co-developed now by WME, the event has added new elements, including more parties, an art installation and more technology (the shows will be live-streamed) to make it glitzier than ever.
This story first appeared in the Sept. 11 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
You could almost call this fall's New York Fashion Week (Sept. 10 to 17) for the Spring/Summer 2016 collections a reboot. The IMG-produced shows of NYFW are all moving from Lincoln Center to three new locations for the agency's first fashion week fully co-developed with WME since merging in 2013: Skylight at Moynihan Station (360 W. 33rd St.), Skylight Clarkson Sq (550 Washington St.) and a headquarters called, aptly enough, HQ at 451 W. 14th St. is adjacent to Milk Studios, where WME-IMG's Made Fashion Week, supporting emerging designers, takes place. WME brought unique assets to the table, with their Art & Commerce Agency, which represents photographers, stylists and art directors and, more recently, Hollywood styling agency The Wall Group. "Since WME came on board," says IMG Fashion's senior vp and managing director Catherine Bennett, "we've had the luxury of taking a long look at the whole event, so we can answer to the needs of designers, editors, buyers, our sponsors and the whole city." Bennett adds that WME co-CEOs "Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell will be very present, and we're hoping to access some of their great talent at the shows." Might WME's Emma Stone, Tilda Swinton, Tina Fey or Kate Mara show up? It's a lot more likely this year. Another goal: to make NYFW an "all-encompassing cultural event — as it is the largest [trade] event in New York," notes Bennett. To that end, WME-IMG has added new elements:
Emanuel and Vogue's Anna Wintour at Carolina Herrera during NYFW Fall 2015 at Lincoln Center in February.
1. Three parties, including a star-studded kickoff preview on Sept. 9 for celebrity photographer Patrick Demarchelier, who will get his first U.S. exhibition at Christie's New York in October. The other parties will be with Twitter and Instagram.
2. The 500-square-foot art installation "Walk, Don't Run" at NYFW: The Shows' HQ by L.A. designer Blaine Halvorson of MadeWorn. Repped by WME, his artwork creates worlds within rooms, a la his fantastical L.A. space at Fairfax and Melrose. His theme is "the luxury market going back to that bespoke personal touch." It will feature Halvorson on display, slowly crafting his shoes. Observers may buy the shoes.
Demarchelier photographed Blake Lively in 2013.
3. Shows will be live-streamed from Moynihan Station and Skylight Clarkson Square, which will be open to the public at select times. "We'd like to live-stream at Times Square in the future," says Bennett. NYFW also now has its own app that can coordinate your show schedule, live-stream shows, give real-time tracking about late shows and traffic updates. And how will the street photographers grab those shots of the bloggers' fash-flamboyant outfits, some of which they're paid to wear? They'll have to chase them down the street instead of posing by the fountain at the plaza at Columbus and 64th Street. How very New York paparazzo.