In 1990, Michael Kors selected an old loft space in downtown Manhattan as the location for one of his shows. To fill the space with sound, Kors used powerful bass speakers that got so loud, they shook little pieces of plaster from the ceiling. The models bravely kept walking down the runway, but when larger pieces of plaster started falling and hit fashion critics Suzy Menkes and Carrie Donovan, a few members of the audience started looking for the exit.
But every cloud has a silver lining. Fern Mallis, then the director of the CFDA, saw the need for safer, more organized show spaces. "The general sentiment was, 'We love fashion but we don't want to die for it,'" Mallis said in an interview with Slate.
The Michael Kors incident, and others like it, led to the establishment of the professionally built show tents at Bryant Park, which have now moved to Lincoln Center.