Modern spends a lot of time covering New York Fashion Week, and most of that time is spent in the Mercedes Benz tents. There are several venues for shows during NYFW, but Mercedes Benz Fashion Week (MBFW) is the most exclusive and elite. This season 80 designers offered their collections under the MBFW umbrella.
Admittance is by invitation only, and these invites are to industry professionals including buyers, fashion jounalists, stylists and other fashion insiders. There is one way to "buy" a ticket (through American Express), but these are limited and offered for just a handful of shows. Designers pay a hefty fee to participate at the tents, but that fee is normally picked up or softened by the sponsors (hair, nail, make up and skin care manufacturers among others) that sometimes pay the designers to be part of the show. The sponsors, in turn, get bragging rights and mentions in the credits.
The "tents" is actually just one giant temporary structure in the Lincoln Center area of NYC on the Upper West Side (entrance at Columbus and 65th). It is comprised of one large central or communal area (information, check in, press lounge, exhibitors) with three offshoots: the "theater", the largest of the venues (holding up to 1100 fashionistas); the "studio", the second largest (holding 800); and the "Box", the smallest venue used mostly for presentations (capacity several hundred). While classic fashion shows are the most exciting, "presentations" (models standing on a platform for 1 - 2 hours while guests mill around) are cost effective and becoming more popular. A handful of official MBFW shows are held offsite, but these designers prefer to keep their shows noted as MBFW for the exposure and cache. (Other popular venues include Milk Studios on 15th Street and Style 360 on 18th Street, each hosting dozens of designers.)
New York Fashion Week lasts more than 7 days, with some shows held days before and after the official "week". There are hundreds of shows throughout the city, including a few in the outer boroughs. There are events including beauty lounges and gifting suites that are held during NYFW that make it never a dull moment. Modern covers at least 12 shows (front, back or both) and events each day. Our fashion/beauty teams zig zag the city to vie for space and time with hair, nail and make up "leads" who must direct their teams while chatting with the press. This season Modern had to deal with the sad of stubbed toes and bumped cameras, as well as the wonderful of front row seats and exclusive interviews. Swollen feet are the order of the day. One editor ditched her heels on day three, switched to "comfy" flats and wore through her gel polish! Fashion Week is exhausting, stimulating, inspiring, fun and FABULOUS.