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2009 July 30

Ready for Your Dose of M.A.C & Milk?

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(NEW YORK) M.A.C and Milk Fashion Week--the name is tentative, but prepare yourselves for something similar--will make its official debut in on September 10 at Milk Studios' 80,000 square feet of space at 450 W. 15th Street in Manhattan's Meatpacking District. With two runway venues--Milk Gallery on the building's ground floor (capacity: 644) and a new space on the second floor--M.A.C and Milk Fashion Week anticipates holding up to 30 runway shows. KCD, whose offices are located in the same building, will produce the events. The studios range from 2,000 to 4,000 square feet, and they will be used for presentations, installations and even video projections.

"During the past few years at Milk Studios, we were hosting a large number of presentations upstairs during the week and one or two shows in the gallery," explained Milk Studios founder Mazdack Rassi. "We were sponsoring young designers, making their budgets work--anywhere between 8 to 12 different presentations throughout Milk. For the last 5 years, we've had a program called M.A.C for Milk, where they were also a sponsor of the shows. And so we thought to have M.A.C come in partner with us in offering space and make-up services for free. This week is not an alternative show space, it's a way of cultivating designers and helping them come up with new ways of selling their clothes."

After M.A.C and Milk made an official announcement last Wednesday, young designers responded enthusiastically to getting their free time slot. "We're following the fashion calendar," Rassi explained. "So everyone has to have a date approved first. Then we try to figure out if it will a show, presentation, exhibition, event...and we try to place them within our venues. Our attitude is to give them a new way of doing things. Designers become artists, architects, filmmakers."

Alexander Wang, Proenza Schouler, Band of Outsiders, ADAM, Joseph Altuzzara, Peter Som, Preen, Costello Tagliapietra, and Temperly London have signed on for M.A.C and Milk Fashion Week, with others in the works. Rassi plans to host several parties outside of the venue of Milk Studios, and he anticipates that the event will work closely with the Meatpacking District in upcoming seasons. "A lot of designers started in these warehouse buildings," Rassi explained. "It's very much within our DNA to reach out to the community."

Both M.A.C and Milk Studios are staffing up to produce this initiative, with the help of Parsons volunteers. "We'll host a panel discussion at the end. Education is very important to us," said Rassi. And as their momentum grows, they are also seeking new partners and spsonsors.

Outside show venues have come and gone in New York, not unlike the city's ever-blossoming hipster joint. Yet the birth of a new idea is always welcome by fashion's avant-garde. Come September, expect a healthy dish of M.A.C and Milk...
ASHLEY BAKER




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