Better soak up New York Fashion Week as much as you can this season — because after the fall 2015 shows in February, things definitely won’t be the same. Just last month, we received confirmation that the event is getting kicked out of its Lincoln Center home of four years, due to lease violations. While Fashion Week officials are busy scrambling to find a (rumored to be downtown) location for spring 2016, we just got word about another unfortunate wrench in the plan: The biannual event's title sponsor, Mercedes-Benz, is dropping out.
WWD broke the news this morning that after five years, Mercedes-Benz will no longer be affiliated with New York Fashion Week. This, of course, means the name will be different (no more Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week). We suspect this is only the beginning of the changes to come.
Here’s an interesting twist: Buro 24/7 reports that WME-IMG, the company that owns Mercedes-Benz, is said to be in the midst of acquiring MADE Fashion Week, NYFW’s rival organization. Owned by the cofounder and creative directors of Milk Studios, MADE is often considered to be the younger (cooler?) alternative to the tents uptown. Over the years, more and more designers have opted to show their collections downtown at MADE or in specialized locations like Eyebeam Studio instead of at Lincoln Center — so maybe this potential partnership signifies the industry's desire for smaller, more personalized spaces.
Whether the rumors of a MADE contract are true or not, this definitely isn’t the end of Mercedes’ commitment to the industry. As a spokeperson told WWD, “Our relationship with fashion is not ending, and we do support fashion globally.” For now, stay tuned to see what happens next, and get more details on the NYFW drama here. (WWD)