Two More Designers Bow Out of Fashion Week

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Monique Lhuillier, spring 2009 Photo: Imaxtree

And then there were … two less. Vera Wang, Betsey Johnson, and Carmen Marc Valvo have opted out of Bryant Park runway shows, and now Monique Lhuillier and Naeem Khan have decided to do the same in favor of presentations. Paul Wilmot, whose PR firm represents both designers, said the moves aren't even about saving a quick buck. In fact, Wilmot said the designers might not spend any less money. Apparently they just want to "shake things up a bit." But is this change we can believe in? “Before, there’s that one degree of separation — the press and the buyers get a different sense of the clothing when they’re flying past you on the runway as opposed to being able to stand next to them and having the fashion designer talk about the clothes,” Wilmot says.

Excellent point — presentations could be a better sales strategy. But are they the future while runway shows merely walk the path to Obsolete Park? As Cathy Horyn noted a while back, shows aren't even necessary these days. Anyone can look at the clothes online minutes after they end, and the only function the shows seem to serve is to preserve the egos of the people with the good seats (i.e., that episode of the Real Housewives of New York where Jill storms out of the tents because Ramona got a front-row seat while she got a second-row seat). So bring on the presentations and force the important people to mingle with the lowly bloggers like us. Come fall 2009, everyone's front row!

Monique Lhuillier, Naeem Khan Decide Against February Runway Shows [Heard on the Runway/WSJ]