Haute Trivia – What You Didn’t Know About Mercedes Benz Fashion Week


A Vintage History

The first Mercedes Benz Fashion Week (aka New York Fashion Week) was originally called “Press Week” and took place in 1943, when the French lead high fashion. Eleanor Lambert, a fashion publicist, created the exclusive premiere event to gain more exposure for American designers by enticing industry insiders during a time when they were unable to get to France due to World War II.


Vogue cover from 1943


“Press Week” was a huge success and Lambert achieved her goal in helping American fashion gain traction – for the first time in history, magazines like Vogue filled their issues with American designers; and so, American fashion was truly born.


Since then, “Press Week” has moved from tents to buildings (the most recent to Lincoln Center), obtained a new official sponsor, opened it’s invite-only doors to disruptive fashion internet bloggers, gone high-tech with Fashion GPS, and has been come to known as Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.


The Impact of Recession

Before 2009, fashion houses would spend upwards of $700,000 for one show – yeah, you could buy a mansion with that in this economy. However, due to the economic crash in 2008, designers and publicists had to get creative and finds ways to innovate within the norms. Designers adopted unorthodox ways to cut costs – showing their lines on mannequins instead of expensive runway models, producing a collaborative show with other designers, and creating multi-purpose fashion that could be used from spring to fall. (Fashion show hacks, if you will.)


A rehearsal pre-show at 2009 Fall/Winter Show at Bryant Park


After a Ports 1961 shows at the Bryant Park tents in 2009


Next month, IMG Fashion will be putting on the highly anticipated Fall 2013 show in New York. Check out the preliminary line-up, and make sure to tune-in to Splash for the latest fashion news, runway couture, and A-list parties right from the front rows of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.

Mercedes Benz officially became the main sponsor of New York Fashion Week in 2009

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