Back in September of this year, Fern Mallis, former head of IMG Fashion and creator of New York Fashion Week, bemoaned the current state of Fashion Week at one of her talks at the 92Y, specifically lamenting how fashion bloggers have gained precedence over industry buyers when it came to seating. "That needs to change," Mallis said then. And, today, Catherine Bennett of IMG Fashion, which runs Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in NYC, announced the intention to start carrying out those plans: "It was becoming a zoo. What used to be a platform for established designers to debut their collections to select media and buyers has developed into a cluttered, often cost-prohibitive and exhausting period for our industry to effectively do business." The Wall Street Journal reports that IMG plans to cut media guest lists by 20%, which mostly includes fashion bloggers.
A restructuring of the Lincoln Center event spaces will also aid this change. IMG is adding a few more venues, lowering the prices of existing ones, and installing bigger areas backstage and in the tents to do interviews, conduct business, and treat VIP guests. As always, NYFW provides channels for online media distribution for most of the shows, to ensure that those absent can still get speedy access to images.
It should be mentioned that the celebrification of Fashion Week isn't the sole fault of fashion bloggers, and their attendance at one of the more hallowed events in the industry has disrupted the status quo in many wonderful ways. But, the simultaneous commodification of street style, ease of capturing the scene via social media, and the rise of editors-as-celebrities has created a culture where Fashion Week is, for many, a chance to be seen and self-promote - rather than a place to do business. And, we're pretty sure that bloggers who actually are able to turn their attendance into real promotion and sales for the designers they're supporting will still be going to Fashion Week, sitting front row, and getting Tommy Ton-ed on the plaza. These individuals, though, might have to experience things from their computers come February.