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NEW YORK — The fashion shows at Bryant Park could be on thin ice.
Buzz was building on Thursday that IMG, which owns 7th on Sixth, may be forced to find a new location for the next round of collections in February if an agreement with the Bryant Park Restoration Committee is not reached imminently.
According to sources, the Bryant Park Corp. has long been disgruntled with the timing of the shows. When the spring shows moved from November to the beginning of September, it also meant having to close the park on Labor Day weekend to allow for the construction of the tents. Then there is the ice-skating rink, which was set up in Bryant Park for the first time last winter, and which is said to have attracted enough sponsors to make it a profitable proposition for the park. The park would like to extend the rink through February.
Labor Day weekend to allow for the construction of the tents. Then there is the ice-skating rink, which was set up in Bryant Park for the first time last winter, and which is said to have attracted enough sponsors to make it a profitable proposition for the park. The park would like to extend the rink through February.
"We're hoping they find a place to move," said Dan Biederman, president of the Bryant Park Corp. "It's problematic use of the park during different times of the year. It's not popular with many park users. We've been doing this for a long time. We've done our share. The shows now consume almost 2 acres of the park. It was one tent — about 10,000 square feet — when they started.
"They have outgrown the park," he added. "The question is can we and the city find them a better place. They are now so big I don't think we can contain them anymore. It [7th on Sixth] is a very successful venture that looks like it will continue expanding."
IMG, which works on a year-to-year contract basis with the park, is said to be considering several other venues. The possibility of 7th on Sixth relocating next season, however, is sending shock waves through the fashion community as well as some businesses in the area, which consider the biannual event a boon to New York business. The tents are not only convenient to editors and retailers, but have helped polish the image of the park and given it a sense of glamour.