New York Fashion Week is in Trouble, Facing Competition

Marc Jacobs Spring 2013 NYFW
Marc Jacobs Spring 2013 NYFW

New York Fashion Week, or famously known as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week has been plagued by rumours since last quarter which were ranging from a change of location to the possibility of losing its’ flagship sponsorship. At least, now it has been confirmed that both these rumours are true.

NYFW will move from its’ current location at Lincoln Centre to an undisclosed location in September. Sources say that the next location would be Culture Shed –  a new arts centre at Hudson Yards – once it is completed in 2017. In the mean time, it is said that NYFW will be spread around the city following criticism by several designers that the current location, Lincoln Centre, has a “circus-like aura”. (It doesn’t help that Alexander Wang threw a massive after party with a Circus theme a few seasons ago).

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Lacoste
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Lacoste

The Lincoln Centre location has been hit by several problems, most notably, a lawsuit by community activists accusing the Fashion Week tents in Damrosch Park to be a violation of the public-trust doctrine.

NYFW will also be losing its iconic flagship sponsorship, Mercedes-Benz, come September next year. The brand has been supporting the Fashion Week for half a decade. The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week will now be known as just the New York Fashion Week.

“Our relationship with fashion is not ending, and we do support fashion globally,” a Mercedes-Benz spokeswoman told WWD, citing sponsorship of fashion weeks in Sydney, Istanbul and Berlin, among others. “We maintain a top-tier portfolio of events. We routinely review those events for return on investment and general engagement. In general, it’s important to note that fashion and design are key pillars for Mercedes-Benz, and we will support fashion well into the future. Globally, Mercedes-Benz supports more than 50 fashion engagements in 30 countries.”

Mercedes-Benz, however, is said to be in negotiation to acquire a competing fashion week called Made Fashion Week.

New York Fashion Week infamously charged exorbitant prices for designers to showcase their wares in the show ranging from US$75,000 to US$500,000 depending on schedule, while Made Fashion Week does not.


It would be interesting to see designers are being splintered out to choose which fashion week promises more coverage. Name-wise, New York Fashion Week has the widest reach. With editors and buyers time being squished even further by tight-scheduling, wouldn’t it be more circus-like? 

If it were not for big names like Alexander Wang or Michael Kors, this chaos would have been enough to put any editor to just think, “skip New York, let’s just go to Paris or London”.