New York Fashion Week
Designers produce fashion shows to show off their latest collections. The most recent show was in February 2009 for Fall 2009 Fashion Week. Currently, the shows are sponsored by Mercedes-Benz so they are referred to as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. in the past, they've been referred to by other sponsors such as Olympus Fashion Week.
New York City in Bryant Park (42nd and Sixth), an 8-acre park that is converted to a temporary fashion arena with tents. The Fashion Week tents are huge, air-conditioned and contain several venues for the designers to show their collections. The individual venues -- ranging up to almost 12,000 square feet -- come complete with runway, seating for attendees, backstage areas, lighting and sound. Some fashion designers choose to have their collections shown in showrooms or other off-site venues during the week.
Twice a year. The Fashion Week fall shows are held the preceding winter (February). The spring shows are held the preceding late summer (September).
Fashion shows are attended by journalists, editors, buyers, celebrities and social types. The Fashion Week shows are invitation-only and each fashion designer is responsible for the guest list. Journalists must seek accreditation prior to the event. Fashion Week is an excellent opportunity for American (and a few international) designers -- ranging from Oscar de la Renta to Zac Posen -- to show off their upcoming collections. The fashion shows are often entertaining, accompanied by loud, mood-setting music and changing lighting. The press writes about and photographs the runway collections for newspapers, magazines, internet and television so the general public can see what is going on in fashion.
Fashion Week is produced by 7th on Sixth, which was originally formed by the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 1993, then acquired by IMG -- a lifestyle and sports marketing and management firm -- in 2001.