Today's WWD has a lead article speculating on where WME-IMG will stage (the formerly titled Mercedes-Benz) New York Fashion Week this September. There are three leading candidates, all of which have major drawbacks.
First off is Moynihan Station in the old James Farley Post Office (pictured above) across Eighth Avenue from Penn Station and Madison Square Garden. They have the space, and fashion events have been held there before. It is also centrally located near subway lines, but the drawback is that this particular stretch of midtown is reliably home to Manhattan's worst traffic patterns which could affect the multitude of trucks required for loading and unloading the multiple shows that would be taking place.
Also, if the station is holding fashion shows, then when exactly is it going to turn into the train station that we have been hearing about for the past 20 years? That's an answer for a whole other article, but Moynihan Station is not the only option.
Also highly touted is Skylight Clarkson Square, which will house this summer's Men's Fashion Week shows and is also a regular home to many runway shows. 70,000 square feet on Washington Street in Western SoHo makes it a cool downtown location, but, unlike Lincoln Center and Bryant Park, there is not exactly a subway stop at its doorstep. Not every Fashion Week attendee travels by Taxi or private car. The third likely option is tents on a Tribeca Pier on the Hudson River, possibly Pier 26? That creates its own transportation issues, but it would be near the newly resurgent Financial District shopping area as well as Condé Nast's new reportedly rodent-ridden WTC headquarters.
Then there's also the issue of how to integrate Made Fashion Week, which WME-IMG is in the process of acquiring, into the larger Fashion Week structure. Will that prompt a move to centralize at Chelsea Piers which is very close to Made's home at Milk Studios?
They will to have to think fast. Planning a mega-event in September requires more advanced planning that IMG may already have time for. WWD also notes that most people involved expect that Fashion Week will find a permanent home at the proposed Culture Shed in Hudson yards in the West 30s which has been projected for a 2017 opening. That may be an optimistic timetable, and complex may not be ready until 2019.
At the moment, it all seems to be up in the air without a real frontrunner location, so what will likely happen is a lot of shows exhaustingly scattered all over Manhattan just like we experienced this past week and in previous seasons. A decision will have to be made soon, however, so stay tuned. We may just get a manageable Fashion Week soon.