>> It's still two months until New York Fashion Week, but as predicted, all the cost-cutting is making some major designers shuffle their usual plans.
Vera Wang, who typically shows at the tents in Bryant Park, is downsizing to a more intimate show — 14-15 models, 100-150 guests — in her new Mercer Street store, but promises it won't be a presentation: "The intimacy of a smaller show feels much more appropriate for these times." She says the decision is not only for financial reasons, but admits they do have an impact: "Once you go off-site, you don’t get any of the benefits that are in tents. But by the same token, showing in the tents calls for 25 girls, and hair and make-up. It’s an incredible production."
Betsey Johnson and Carmen Marc Valvo, too, are leaving the tents behind. Betsey has shown in Bryant Park for the past five years to a guest list of 1,000, and although she's undecided on her Fall 2009 format or location, she will be doing something different. Carmen Marc Valvo cites high costs — typically $150,000-$200,000 each season — as his reason to pull out, and is considering switching from 1,000-guest runway format to a 200-guest cocktail party format, because the change could save 50% of his usual presentation costs.
Donna Karan already announced that her DKNY runway was being replaced with a presentation; Fewer models, fewer guests, and tight-belted presentations seem to an early Fall 2009 trend — with more announcements in the same vein sure to come.