New York Fashion Week Gets A New Home

After 15-years of holding runway shows under a big tent in Bryant Park, New York's Fashion Week will move the event to Lincoln Centre, beginning 2010.

The twice-annual event that draws an estimated 100,000 visiting store buyers and fashion editors, has been under increasing pressure to relocate after the park management complained the invitation-only shows had grown too large, thus restricting public access to the park.

In 2006, it was the intervention of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg that persuaded Bryant Park Corporation to allow Fashion Week to remain in the Park temporarily, despite the says the shows interfering with plans to operate a skating rink in the winter and the public's use of the main lawn in late summer.

About 63 designers are expected to present their fall 2009 collections in the park starting on 13th February, at the event that generates $466 million in visitor spending each year, according to the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

Designers, especially those with businesses on Seventh Avenue have found it difficult to find a new home for the show. Designer Diane von Furstenberg, CFDA President says: 'It has not been easy to find a place for us, a place that was big enough, that was centralized enough, that was right enough. Since we're starting fresh we will try to make them better than the previous one.'

The Lincoln Centre is about half a mile to the west and another mile uptown from Bryant Park, and while it may have more space to present their collections, it is further away from many designers' offices and studios.