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PR- 381-10
September 8, 2010


Semi-Annual Event Makes its Debut at Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park

Mayor Renames the No. 1 Subway Line “The Fashion Line” For the Week

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris, Council of Fashion Designers of America President Diane von Furstenberg, IMG Chairman and CEO Ted J. Forstmann and Lincoln Center Chair Katherine Farley today kicked-off the inaugural Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center. The event will be held at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park from September 9 to 16. Mayor Bloomberg unveiled a subway sign at the event, renaming the No. 1 line “The Fashion Line” for the duration of the week. The semi-annual fashion events, previously held at Bryant Park, draw more than 230,000 attendees every year, generating more than $770 million in economic activity in New York City. Mayor Bloomberg, who rode the No. 1 subway to the announcement outside Lincoln Center, was also joined by Council Member Gail A. Brewer New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe and Lincoln Square Business Improvement District President Monica Blum.

“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,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “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. Every year, the events pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the City’s economy and support the 175,000 people who work in New York City’s fashion industry. 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 No. 1 subway line, or as it will be called this week: The Fashion Line.”

In 2009, the City worked with IMG and the Council of Fashion Designers of America to identify a new location for the shows, which had outgrown the facilities previously used at Bryant Park. The new venue was selected for its 87,000 square feet of outdoor space – significantly more than was available at Bryant Park – and proximity to indoor locations to be used for special events during the shows, as well as for its convenient access to public and private transportation options.

The inaugural Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center will feature more than 90 of the world’s most established and up-and-coming designers presenting their collections for Spring 2011. Each year, attendees at New York’s Fashion Weeks generate new economic activity for City businesses, accounting for more than $466 million in direct visitor spending and generating more than $770 million in economic activity in New York City.

The five-year agreement between IMG Fashion and Lincoln Center will also allow IMG Fashion to unveil event upgrades such as modernized production capabilities for designers and digital services concurrent with the advanced needs of the 21st Century. It coincides with the reconstruction at Lincoln Center - including the creation of new green spaces and one of the largest underground parking garages in New York City.

“The CFDA is very pleased that IMG and Lincoln Center have created a new home for Fashion Week and we are thankful to Mayor Bloomberg and the City for supporting the fashion industry,” said Council of Fashion Designers of America President Diane von Furstenberg.

“The move to Lincoln Center has allowed IMG to envision an event for the 21st century,” said IMG Chairman and CEO Ted J. Forstmann. “We are tremendously excited to be able to offer the services to designers that the new location will allow as well as upgrade the technology and digital experience of every client, guest and partner.”

“Lincoln Center is home to the world’s finest performing artists and we are particularly pleased to welcome so many talented members of the design community so ably represented by the Council of Fashion Designers of America,” said Lincoln Center Chair Katherine Farley. “All of us at Lincoln Center regard design and fashion as an integral part of the creativity of the performing arts at their best. We look forward to showcasing their impact in the years to come.”

“As Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week moves to Lincoln Center, I am proud to see a West Side spirit of openness and cooperation that embraces all members of our community," said Council Member Brewer. “To New Yorkers, Fashion Week is important for more than seven days. It's a life-changing opportunity for our young people to experience the excitement, glamor, and hard work that careers in high-style clothing design, fashion writing, and modeling really involve. I especially want to thank the sponsor Mercedes Benz for recognizing that here on the West Side the tents of Fashion Week are big enough for both the stars of today and the undiscovered ones of tomorrow. Our small businesses, restaurants, watering holes and non-profits are ready to serve Fashion Week's thousands of visitors and industry professionals. I say to each of them, on behalf of all of us: Welcome to the West Side.”

Lincoln Center also provides Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week attendees with convenient transportation options and access to the event via subway, bus, taxi, and car service. By subway, in addition to the No. 1 train that goes directly to the 66th Street/Lincoln Center Station, the campus is served by the A, B, C, and D to the 59th Street/Columbus Circle stop. The number 1 train was renamed “The Fashion Line” in honor of the event. By bus, the M5, M7, M10, M11, M66 and M104 lines all stop within one block of the Lincoln Center campus. Cars can pick up and drop off at the main steps between 63rd and 64th Streets on Columbus Avenue and will have a designated waiting area on 65th Street. In addition, a taxi stand has been set up on Columbus Avenue between 62nd and 63rd Streets.

Working with IMG Fashion and Lincoln Center, the City has embarked on a coordinated effort to ensure Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week takes place in an efficient and organized manner. Led by the Citywide Event Coordination and Management Office, City agencies including the Transportation, Police, Fire, Buildings, Parks and Recreation, and Sanitation Departments, together with the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit and New York City Economic Development Corporation, have coordinated on issues related to pedestrian access, ancillary parking, community resources, traffic flow, and opportunities for local businesses.

“A new home for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center – already one of the great showcases for New York’s creative talents – means new opportunities for area businesses, and a chance for thousands of attendees to visit New York City,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth Pinsky. “The fashion industry has always been on the cutting edge, and as we work to make New York City the global capital of innovation, we are committed to supporting the growth of this vital sector.”

“Parks is thrilled to welcome Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week to its new, larger, home in Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “All eyes are on New York City during this exciting week, when Lincoln Center and Damrosch Park will be at the epicenter of the fashion world.  Additionally, the center lawn at Bryant Park and the winter skating rink will now be able to have much longer public seasons, thanks to the new location for the fashion shows.”

“Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week brings a tremendous amount of excitement to our vibrant neighborhood and our businesses will certainly benefit,” said Lincoln Square Business Improvement District President Monica Blum. “Everyone is genuinely looking forward to rolling out the red carpet and welcoming New York’s most stylish to Lincoln Square.”

The Lincoln Square Business Improvement District worked with many local businesses to promote activity during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. The organization created special posters for area businesses to celebrate the event and encourage attendees to “venture beyond The Tents.” The Lincoln Square Business Improvement District also worked with IMG Fashion on a special promotion for the official event program that will feature menu and bar offerings and incentives at dozens of area restaurants.


Stu Loeser/Andrew Brent   (212) 788-2958

Alison Levy (IMG)   (646) 871-2492

Karen Peterson (Council of Fashion Designers of America)   (212) 768-5708

Betsy Vorce (Lincoln Center)   (212) 875-5100

Julie Wood/Libby Langsdorf (NYCEDC)   (212) 312-3523

Vickie Karp (Parks)   (212) 360-1311

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