New York Fashion Week to become more exclusive

Monday, 09 December 2013
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, run by IMG Fashion, is to make changes for the upcoming Autumn/Winter 2014 season in a bid to remove the “zoo” like clutter to the bi-annual event. Catherine Bennett, senior vice president and managing director at IMG Fashion Events and Properties, who oversees NYFW told the Wall Street Journal that fashion week “was becoming a zoo” and that the showcase needs to crack down on unnecessary attendees with only a “tenuous connection to the fashion industry,” referring to the fashion circus of street style photographers and fashion bloggers that “swarm” around the Lincoln Center.

Bennett added: "What used to be a platform for established designers to debut their collections to select media and buyers has developed into a cluttered, often cost-prohibitive and exhausting period for our industry to effectively do business."

For February’s fashion week, the Wall Street Journal reports that IMG will be toughening its ticketing policy, with press accreditation guidelines set to be tightened and guest lists reduced by 20 percent to return NYFW to an exclusive event and ensuring that all attendees are "of value to the designers." This will mean that many fashion bloggers and press deemed less important may not be able to attend after seasons of support.

NYFW to tighten ticket policy

The “makeover” doesn’t stop there - WSJ is also reporting that IMG is set to introduce two redesigned venues at the event’s Lincoln Center, one of which will be more industrial in feel, and the other more “intimate”. There will also be two brand new off-site venues, including one geared towards up-and-coming designers called the ‘Hudson Hub’, both of which have been designed to “control and reduce audience capacities” to make invites an “exclusive pass for true fashion insiders."

Changes will also be made to expand the backstage area in the tents to allow for more space to do interviews and to offer a larger area to cater for VIP guests.

According to WSJ, the changes are being implemented following complaints from NYFW designers, a number of press titles and key buyers, regarding the overcrowded nature of fashion week.

New York isn’t the first fashion week to address the issue of overcrowding at its event, in September the British Fashion Council announced it is developing a blogger strategy, after more than 2,000 bloggers registered to attend LFW in February. The BFC has created a blogger panel featuring a selection of UK-based fashion bloggers, who will act as advisors on a wide range of issues, including increased blogger registration, vetting, best practise for bloggers and on-site facilities at LFW.

Image: via The New York Times

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