Fashion Week organisers Remain Optimistic Despite Designer Drop-Outs

It seems like every day we read about another designer choosing not to show their collection in the Bryant Park tents in February. (Apparently putting on those fashion shows is kind of expensive.) But New York Fashion Week organisers, IMG Fashion, says its got 52 designers who will put on runway shows including Calvin Klein and Michael Kors. Still, that’s already down from the 80 shows put on in September, but IMG Fashion remains optimistic and is adapting to the recession.

WSJ’s Heard on the Runway blog: “We’re totally cognisant of how bad business has been,” [IMG senior vice president, Fern] Mallis said, adding that she still expects a “full schedule” of shows…

Ms. Mallis says she was “completely understanding” of Ms. Wang deciding to stage a presentation in her new SoHo boutique, which opened in December. “She just opened a beautiful big store downtown—she’s going to want to have all these international editors come to the store and the only way that’s going to happen during fashion week is to have the presentation there,” Ms. Mallis says. IMG also expects its registrations to dip slightly as retailers send fewer buyers and media companies send fewer photographers and editors.

IMG has been trying to book a fourth venue specifically for designers seeking to cut costs by having a presentation instead of a runway show this year but has not found one so far, Ms. Mallis says. “We’re trying to be sensitive to the issue o economics,” she says, noting that designers should remember that staging runway shows remain important even in tough times. “People need to know that they’re still in business and they can do that by getting their name out there and making some noise about it.

But if they have one of these shows with no money they may not be in business for too much longer…

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