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Mayor Bloomberg announces New Home for Fashion Week at Lincoln Center
04
Feb '09
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced an agreement to move New York City's biannual Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week events to Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center. The agreement between IMG Fashion and Lincoln Center, Inc. will allow the shows to relocate from Bryant Park to Damrosch Park beginning in September 2010. Until then, the event will take place at Bryant Park, including the Fall 2009 collections which begin February 13. The City, through the Office of First Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris, worked with IMG Fashion and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) to identify a new location as it became clear the shows would soon outgrow the facilities at Bryant Park.

The Mayor made the announcement at a conference about the future of New York City hosted by Crain's New York Business and the Partnership for New York City, and he was joined by Council of Fashion Designers of America President Diane von Furstenberg, IMG Fashion Senior Vice President Fern Mallis, Lincoln Center President Reynold Levy, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky and Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin.

"The fashion industry is a vital part of our City's economy, providing more than 175,000 jobs and generating billions of dollars in wages for New Yorkers annually," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Ensuring the industry's long-term success and promoting Fashion Week – the industry's greatest showcase – is more important than ever as we work to retain and create jobs during these difficult times and diversify the City's economy. We were determined to work with the Council of Fashion Designers of America and IMG Fashion to identify a location for Fashion Week that would allow it to grow and thrive in New York City, and we could not have arrived at more ideal location than Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center."

The new venue at Damrosch Park, which is managed by Lincoln Center, will provide about 87,000 square feet of space for the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week shows, compared to the roughly 70,000 square feet available at Bryant Park – a 25 percent increase. The agreement between IMG Fashion and Lincoln Center is for five years. In addition to providing more space in Damrosch Park, Lincoln Center provides ample opportunity for its iconic indoor locations to be used for special events during the shows.

The collections, which began being shown in New York City's Bryant Park in 1993 with about 35 shows, have grown dramatically to about 70 shows per season, showcasing the leading American and international designers. Last year, the two annual events drew 232,000 attendees, generated $466 million in direct visitor spending, and resulted in an overall economic impact on New York City of $773 million. New York City's fashion industry provides 175,000 jobs, $1.6 billion in annual tax revenue and $10 billion in total wages. More than 800 fashion companies are headquartered in New York City, more than double the number headquartered in Paris, its next closest competitor.


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