2010 February 19
Designers Talk Shop
We asked our favorite designers to reminisce about their fondest Bryant Park memories. Behold their most treasured Dear Diary moments!
“My first show was in February 2002. It would have been September 2001, but they were canceled due to 9/11, and the designers showed small in their showrooms the following week. So when I finally got to Bryant Park, it was exhilarating! I was extremely nervous and eager at the same time. The best feeling was walking out onto the runway after the models were done and seeing my family, friends, and everyone from the industry in the seats. I looked around and felt such a rush.”—TRACY REESE
“My memories are food-related. I have a soft spot for the tuna sandwiches at Koi in the Bryant Park Hotel, but sometimes it’s perfect to just grab a quick sandwich at ’Wichcraft. I’ve been with my kids several times to the skating rink, and sometimes we get lunch at the Bryant Park Grill.”—TOMMY HILFIGER
“The tents took New York fashion to another level, but Lincoln Center is one of the most iconic spots in the city. It’s got glamour and majesty and raises the bar for fashion to have that kind of crossover with the arts.” —MICHAEL KORS
“The fact that we’re changing venues, which affects the choices we make and how we show as designers, is phenomenal. Lincoln Center isn’t only about big; it can be about chic and intimate. There’s such a wide array of choices that we haven’t had.”—VERA WANG
“My time slot as a newbie was 9 a.m., call time 6 a.m. I’m in a Town Car coming from home, and the automatic steer
ing goes. The only replacement car they have in the area is this massive white stretch limo with spinner
/>rims—no joke. So I pull up to the tents an hour late, and the photographers thought I was some celebrity but had absolutely no idea who.”—AMY SMILOVIC, Tibi
“Spring 1993…my grunge collection was the first show held in the beautiful Celeste Bartos Forum. I loved that space, with its 30-foot-high glass dome ceiling and Victorian ironwork.”—ANNA SUI
“My first season at Bryant Park I showed in the library and the tape deck got stuck. Nadja Auermann had to walk to the same snippet playing over and over again.”—NICOLE MILLER
“Bryant Park was wonderful. We’ve had a fabulous time here, but we’re excited about Lincoln Center. It’s the heart of culture in New York.”—DIANE VON FURSTENBERG
“My first season in the tents was only my second fashion show, and I showed in the Studio. It felt surreal to be at the tents and to be showing with the entire New York fashion community. It was huge.”—YIGAL AZROUEL
“I still remember when Julia Roberts came to see my show and we were wearing the same top!”—VIVIENNE TAM
“Really, my favorite part of Bryant Park is working with Fern [Mallis]. She has been so supportive over the years, and she and her team are always so excited, so driven, and so professional. Each season they helped me transform the space into my dream in under two hours. My favorite memory is taking my grandkiddos, Layla and Ella, down the runway with me.”—BETSEY JOHNSON
“One of my favorite memories is when Paris Hilton came sprinting through my backstage. The models were more in awe of her than anybody else!”—NANETTE LEPORE
“During the shows it’s difficult to enjoy the beauty of the park because of all the Fashion Week craziness. But whenever I come back to New York, I visit. It’s beautiful and quiet and brings back very nice memories.”—CUSTO DALMAU,
“I’ll never forget the first time I went to a Todd Oldham show in the ’90s and saw all the supermodels: Christy! Naomi! Linda! This was a big deal for a girl from New Zealand. Now I’ve shown there for 13 seasons, and I still remember my first time in the Josephine tent. We were beyond excited. There was this feeling of having arrived.”—REBECCA TAYLOR
“Lincoln Center is one of New York’s most important cultural centers. It will be an extraordinary backdrop on which to
show fashion.”—KENNETH COLE
“When I was working for Oscar, we had shown at the tents often, but the first time showing my own brand? It was, like, Wow!”—ADAM LIPPES
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