>> Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Lincoln Center’s new fashion director, wasn't kidding when she said there will be no crashers at this year's New York Fashion Week. This season, instead of sending out paper fashion show invitations that require check-in with publicists at the show doors like seasons past, designers will instead send email invitations with bar coded confirmations ahead of time, so attendees can check in and receive their seating assignments from airport-style kiosks at the venue.
<nobrand>Marc Jacobs</nobrand> has used the system in seasons past »
The goal is to make attendee admittance more streamlined, but a reduction in gate crashing will be a likely side effect — each guest will have a unique bar code, according to IMG, which produces the shows. Lynn Tesoro, founding partner of public-relations firm HL Group, which is handling front-of-house for four Lincoln Center fashion shows, told the Wall Street Journal the bar code system should "control a little bit more" people trying to pass themselves off as someone else. In the past, she says, "you'd look through a list of 700 names for their name, and at some point you'd say 'Just go in.'"
Marc Jacobs has successfully used bar-coded invitations for the past couple of seasons already, but this season it will be a much wider implementation: IMG reports roughly 80 percent of designers showing at Lincoln Center are participating. "For the fashion industry, it's like going from the Stone Age to 2090," said Peter Levy, SVP of IMG. The new technology will also allow publicists to detect no-shows, make quick changes to the seating charts, and ensure that any empty seats are filled.