In a press conference yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg announced that he hopes the Hudson Yards development site in far-west midtown will eventually host Fashion Week. Plans for the 26-acre site spanning blocks in the thirties and forties by the water include a "sprawling, modern center," to be called the Culture Shed, which is where, if the Mayor has his way, Fashion Week will eventually take place. “Fashion week has grown so much. It’s outgrown Lincoln Center already ... We need to make sure that we have the venues for these kinds of events and the Cultural Shed is one of those buildings,” he said.
In 2006, before Lincoln center was confirmed as Fashion Week's new home, Council of Fashion Designers of America representatives met with Mayor Bloomberg to discuss Hudson Yards as a potential Bryant Park replacement. CFDA chief executive officer Steven Kolb says the organization is still open to moving Fashion Week there in the future, and encouraged the city's fashion industry to get involved with the space.
At least one big label is a step ahead of Kolb: Yesterday, Coach signed a deal to move their corporate offices into a 51-story Hudson Yards building to finally get its 1,600 New York employees in the same space. The Yards' chairman also expects a high-end department store to commit to a space there by the end of the year. Though Bloomingdale's was approached for this honor, they decided against it, and now Nordstrom seems like a the strongest contender, having been in talks with the complex for months. (Nordstrom has also been looking for a location in which to open its first Manhattan store for a while.) In any case, fashion folk will no doubt like that a large Equinox gym has already committed to opening in the Yards.
But development in the area isn't scheduled for completion until mid-2015 (when Coach Inc. will make their move), so Fashion Week can rage on at Lincoln Center for quite a few seasons to come. In the meantime, Mayor Bloomberg might want to rethink billing that Hudson Yards fashion space as a "shed," which might turn off the non-hipster fashion people, at least.