>> Soon after Maybelline announced it would be be taking over from five-year Bryant Park cosmetics sponsor MAC, MAC — presumedly, as New York Times' Eric Wilson put it, tired of having to share "a rather circuslike stage with other sponsors who were competing for attention, sometimes including makers of doughnuts, cameras, toilets and Big Macs" — announced that it would be producing the tentatively-titled MAC and Milk Fashion Week with Milk Studios at the same time as the traditional New York Fashion Week.

The event can be seen as either a complement or a competitor to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, but on the record, anyway, there seem to be no hard feelings.  Milk Studios founder Mazdack Rassi says of the initiative: "This week is not an alternative show space, it's a way of cultivating designers and helping them come up with new ways of selling their clothes."  And Zach Eichman, a VP of IMG Fashion, which produces the shows at Bryant Park, told the New York Times last week the company welcomed the MAC and Milk event and that bus service between shows would be available when possible. “We can’t do every show in the tents. We hope they will be successful.”

Alexander Wang will be there, so will Preen »

As of last Wednesday, Proenza Schouler, Erin Fetherston, Band of Outsiders, Preen, and ThreeAsFour, were among the dozen designers who had already signed up for MAC and Milk Fashion Week; Today, four more have been added to the list — with others in the works, reports Fashion Week Daily — ADAM, Joseph Altuzarra, Costello Tagliapietra, Temperley London. Between them, they cover designers who typically show in alternative venues around the city as opposed to in the Tents at Bryant Park — although Fetherston and Temperley have shown at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in the past.  Apparently, Gareth Pugh, who showed in Paris last season, is also making an appearance with a video installation by Steven Klein.      

Mercedes-Benz usually serves up about 60 shows at Bryant Park (with hundreds of others at venues around town), and Milk Studios founder Rassi says that he has capacity for about 25 to 30 presentations; The idea was to create a space for emerging designers who need more corporate support: designers will not be charged for use of the studios, and MAC will provide makeup services for free.  Bryant Park shows cost around $25,000 for the smallest space.

KCD is producing the events, and Milk is providing two runway venues: Milk Gallery, with a capacity of 644, and a new space on the second floor for presentations, installations, and video projections.