updated 24 Dec 2010, 15:05
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Thu, Sep 09, 2010
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New York Fashion Week kicks off in new digs
by Paola Messana

NEW YORK, US - Designers from around the world were to start unveiling their creations Thursday at New York’s Spring-Summer 2011 Fashion Week held for the first time at the prestigious Lincoln Center. The fashion world was in buoyant mood for the start of the event which runs to September 16, celebrating both the new digs and what insiders see as an economic turnaround in the luxury sector.

Shows were to start Thursday in tents set up in Damrosch Park within the Lincoln Center, a huge complex permanently hosting the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet and New York Symphony Orchestra. The New York event is the first of the leading, twice-a-year fashion weeks also held in London, Milan and Paris. “Starting tomorrow, one of the world’s most eye-catching events comes to one of the world’s greatest cultural institutions, as we kick off Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “For years, the famed fashion tents have drawn people from all over the world to New York City, and the buzz is even greater this year with it debuting at its new home at Lincoln Center.”

Fashion Week in New York is attended by some 230,000 people and brings an estimated 770 million dollars in economic activity to a city where 175,000 people are employed in the fashion industry, the mayor’s office says. Until this year Fashion Week always took place in more cramped conditions at Bryant Park, near Times Square. “Lincoln Center is an ideal location for the semi-annual events, with more outdoor space than was available at Bryant Park and terrific transit access, including the Number One subway line, or as it will be called this week: The Fashion Line,” Bloomberg said.

The mayor was accompanied at the opening ceremony by designer and Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) president Diane von Furstenberg, whose collection will be shown Sunday. Friday will feature “Fashion Night Out” when city stores stay open late and fashionistas are encouraged to shop and party into the wee hours. There definite signs of a return to the good times for fashion, even if the US economy as a whole is only barely reemerging from recession.

The September issues of Vogue, Elle, harper’s Bazaar and W are thicker and glossier than they have been in a long time, providing an instant indication of healthy advertising revenues. The doorstopper Vogue issue is only slightly thinner than the famous pre-recession issue of September 2007, the subject of a documentary.

In the warm-up to the main events, young designers have already been busy showing off their wares at the CFDA Fashion Incubator workshops. “It’s interesting because we each have four mentors specialized in the fashion industry to give us advice on avoiding the classic slip-ups in new businesses,” Alice Ritter, a young French designer, said.

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