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Fashion Week's New Look

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week will not just have a new home at Lincoln Center, but also many additional features – including a new façade.

A rendering of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week façade at Lincoln Center

NEW YORK — This September, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week will not just have a new home at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park, but also many additional features — including a new facade.

On Thursday morning, executives from IMG Fashion, which owns Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week; Lincoln Center; the Council of Fashion Designers of America; Mercedes-Benz and, the City of New York unveiled details of the new tents, which will be inaugurated during the spring 2011 collections from Sept. 9 to 16.

Guests will enter the tented lobby through a new facade created by architectural firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The entrance and facade, which is 60 feet wide and 70 feet high, will be located in the corner between the Metropolitan Opera House and David H. Koch Theater. The lobby will feature sponsorship areas, digital signage and seating areas for visitors.

The Lincoln Center shows will feature four main venues: The Theatre, The Stage, The Studio and The Box Presentation Space. The Theatre venue, with an all-black interior, will have seating for 969 people and the option for a straight or U-shaped runway. The Stage venue, in white with gray carpeting, can seat 740, with stadiumlike bench seats. The Studio will be the smallest runway venue, for 369 people in its gray environment, and The Box space is designated for presentations and events, with an ability to accommodate 125 people.

There is also an additional venue called The Courtyard, a glass-encased outdoor space that could be used for informal presentations.

The Thursday event was attended by IMG Fashion Worldwide senior vice president and managing director Peter Levy; Lincoln Center director of fashion Stephanie Winston Wolkoff; Patrick Murphy, director of the fashion-retail team at the Center for Economic Transformation at New York City Economic Development Corp., and Steven Kolb, Elie Tahari, Paul Wilmot and KCD’s Julie Mannion.

CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg referred to Lincoln Center as “a whole new venue,” with plans to make New York’s fashion week the most exciting one on the fashion calendar. “Some people didn’t want us, other people do, and the people who do are better,” she said, causing the audience to erupt in laughter. “That’s how I deal with rejection.”

Lisa Holladay, Mercedes-Benz USA’s manager of brand experience and marketing, disclosed the company renewed its sponsorship deal with IMG Fashion “at least through 2013.”

As part of the move, IMG Fashion also is making several upgrades, and Zach Eichman, a vice president at the company, said there are plans to create a more designer-centric Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Web site. In addition, the new venue also will embrace technology more heavily for registration and credentials. To that end, Eichman unveiled a new partnership with Fashion GPS, offering designers the ability to manage their invitations and RSVPs, and allowing guests the ability to check themselves in using bar code scanners and kiosks.

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