Fashion Week kicks off amid a somewhat tenuous time for the show
The city is about to be overrun with models, designers and fashionistas, as more than a hundred thousand people will flood New York for this year's Fashion Week, which kicks off Thursday -- though without one of its newest traditions.
The weeklong event, along with its spring counterpart, brings in a whopping $865 million to the city, through hotels, retail spending, restaurants and more. But unlike the last four years, the 2013 edition of the fall Fashion Week will go on without Fashion's Night Out, an evening that was designed to bring in big bucks to stores and host some of the year's best parties.
"Fashion's Night Out was created to inspire shopping and help retail businesses, so the shops that did see positive results in that aspect will be missing out on the extra revenue," said fashion editor and creative consultant Samantha Lim.
"That and Champagne crate sales might take a little hit," Lim joked, alluding to those wild parties.
The event was canceled earlier this year after its sponsors, Vogue, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and NYC & Company, pulled out.
At the time the sponsors sang praises for the night and said its cancellation was to help companies spread their budgets around rather than focusing on one event.
The economic benefit of FNO has long been debated, and the city Wednesday -- as well as earlier this year -- was unable to provide numbers about its impact when amNewYork asked.
Fashion Week overall is in somewhat of a transitional period, as its home -- currently Lincoln Center after being booted from Bryant Park in 2010 -- is likely to become the Culture Shed at Hudson Yards in 2017 after its less-than-successful tenure at Lincoln Center. And some have argued that the week's relevance is waning, including a story in Wednesday's New York Times that pointed to location issues, overcrowding and online accessibility as causes for the show's troubles.
Still, New York City Economic Development Corporation President Kyle Kimball said Fashion Week's benefit to the city is important as ever.
"New York City's semi-annual Fashion Weeks are a critical piece of the city's economy, which reflects the importance of the fashion industry as a whole to our city," Kimball said. "It is imperative that we continue to grow this critical sector and maintain New York City's reputation as a global capital of the fashion industry."
"Having Fashion Week in New York anchors it as one of the main fashion capitals in the world," she said. "It defines what American fashion is to the rest of the world."
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week declined to comment.
Check these stylish events during Fashion Week
Fashion’s Night Out — the style world’s giant shopping event that launched in 2009 — isn’t happening as usual during this September’s Fashion Week. But there are still a number of places and events that style-minded New Yorkers can hit up during Fashion Week that don’t require a VIP ticket.
Allure Fashion Lounge: Get beautified at Allure’s lounge, conveniently located near all the runway action at Lincoln Center. Nab free makeovers and manicures by Maybelline, and get your hair styled courtesy of DreamDry. Sept. 5-12, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Empire Hotel, 44 W. 63rd St., allureaccess.com/lounge
Cocktails at the Empire: The Empire Hotel, which is just steps from Fashion Week HQ at Lincoln Center, is offering a special menu of themed cocktails ($15 each) with quirky names like Don’t Feed the Models. Through Sept. 15, Empire Hotel Lobby Bar
Be Chic by Giving: Look good while giving back this week. For every piece of clothing purchased at BCBGMaxAzria stores, the brand is donating one item to the organization Women In Need. Sept. 5-7, BCBG stores (bcbg.com)
Cycle in Style: SoulCycle fans will adore the indoor cycling studio’s promo this week. Rock Soul gear at any NYC studio on Thursday and you’ll nab a free accessory. And, if you Instagram a pic of yourself with the hashtag #soulstyle, you’ll be entered to win an outfit. Sept. 5, SoulCycle studios (soul-cycle.com)
LES: Art + Fashion: Fashionistas and art lovers alike should flock to the Lower East Side for this event, which features art openings, a “Looks of the LES” fashion show and a block party. Sept. 8, 4 p.m., lowereastside ny.com