Launch NYC, Another Challenger for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Will Debut in February


London Fashion Week

With Vera Wang, Diane von Furstenberg, and Michael Kors all reportedly leaving the tents at Lincoln Center to show elsewhere during the next New York Fashion Week in February, the Mercedes-Benz sponsored portion of the event already has clear challenges on its hands.  Now a small fashion incubator, Manufacture New York, is partnering with Adorama, the city’s go-to photo/video/electronics retailer, to present another difficulty.

Launch NYC, Adorama and MNY’s culminating project, will present eight days of shows, from February 5 to 12, in a 5,000 square feet space in Manhattan’s Flatiron District.  An integrated showroom and retail space will play to Fashion Week’s increasing “get it now” ethos, where designers can present samples of their fall/winter collection and sell their current lines at the same time.  Meanwhile, giant outdoor screens will democratize what’s going on inside for public viewing.

Besides its apropos innovations, Launch NYC plans to lure designers by being substantially less expensive than presenting at the tents at Lincoln Center, which have gotten flak for skyrocketing, prohibitive costs.  The enterprise will also make money by allowing a limited, ticketed audience to join the ranks of buyers and editors attending the shows.  Sounds like a solid step forward in Fashion Week’s attempt to stay relevant by becoming mildly more accessible and democratic.