STYLE: The History of Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week

Held in February and September, Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week is a semi-annual series of events that generally lasts between 7 and 9 days. The event is used as a platform to showcase international fashion collections to buyers, the press and the general public.

Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week has a long tradition. It started in 1943 as the so-called “Press Week”, the world’s first organised fashion week. The aim was to give American fashion designers an independent platform on which to present their collections away from the French fashion industry’s prevailing influence. By the late 1950s, Press Week had established the careers of Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, Mollie Parnis and Pauline Trigère.

In the 1970s and 1980s, American designers began to organise their own fashion shows to present their collections to a larger audience. These loosely arranged events were held in various lofts, clubs and restaurants around the city.

The events that took place in abandoned lofts, however, were repeatedly subject to mishaps and accidents. In one case, in Chelsea in the early 1990s, plaster began to fall from the ceiling. At another show in Soho, the electrical generator suddenly malfunctioned, leaving the audience to sit in complete darkness for 30 minutes.

On the initiative of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), New York’s fashion shows were reorganised and brought together at a less perilous location; first in a hotel, and since 1993, in the tents in Bryant Park in the heart of Manhattan. The high-quality tent structures can accommodate up to four runways of varying size. According to brand image, some designers alternatively present their collections at off-site locations.

Since 2007, Mercedes-Benz has been the title sponsor of New York’s fashion week because of a belief shared with the fashion industry that standards are set by those who innovate and show leadership in their respective fields.

During Mercedes-Benz New York fashion Week, top American and international designers present their autumn/winter collections in February and their spring/summer collections in September – over one week and in more than 80 shows. Much like when you win your dream car at Euro Palace casino, fashion lovers around the globe are usually filled with excitement to view these highly anticipated collections.

Among the leading labels are Max Azaria, Diesel, Perry Ellis, Heatherette, Carolina Herrera, Betsy Johnson, Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Lacoste, Ralph Lauren, Joanna Mastroianni, Badgley Mischka, Miss Sixty, Zac Posen and Vera Wang.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion New York Fashion Week is more than an international meeting place for top designers. Over the years, it has become one of the world’s leading celebrity hangouts. No other fashion event attracts more stars looking for things to wear to the next gala, Oscar night or wedding, and Some even come in search of inspiration for their own collections.

Regularly occupying ringside seats are the likes of Sheryl Crow, Mischa Barton, Demi Moore,
Eva Longoria and Hilary Swank. Several celebrities have also presented their own fashion lines here, including singer Gwen Stefani (L.A.M.B.), Jennifer Lopez (JustSweet) and Diddy a.k.a (Hip-Hop Mogul) Sean “P. Diddy” Combs.

Helen x
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