Op-Ed

AOL to Sponsor Media Lounge at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

aol-logo-designDALLAS, Feb 7, 2010 / FW/ — Receiving the list of sponsors for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2010 season, one thing that caught my eye was that AOL is sponsoring the media lounge.

The announcement says, “AOL’s media lounge will be a one?of?a kind environment for the editorial community, serving as an environment committed to empowering the working press to share their coverage of the events of Mercedes?Benz Fashion Week with the world’s fashion enthusiasts.”

It really sounds good on paper and makes me hopeful that finally, New York will be at par with Milan and Paris when it comes to the media lounge.

Let me describe the media lounge in Milan and Paris so that you will understand why my pet peeve at the Tents is that the area for journalists is like a cubbyhole.

First, the actual square footage of the media lounge at the tents in Bryant Park is about 1/10th (yes one-tenth) of what is provided for at the Fashion Center in Milan and at The Louvre in Paris.

Both in Milan and Paris, there are TWO media lounge, one for photographers, and the other for journalists! In New York there is ONE media lounge.

At the Fashion Center in Milan (the main place for Milan Fashion Week where half the shows are held), the writers area is a picture of serenity. Divided into cubicles, there is a desktop and a printer wherein a journalist can actually work. It is so quiet; you can hear a pin drop!

The photographers’ area is separated from the writers’ area. The difference here is that it is designed as a bullpen, but in terms of square footage, it is the same size as the writers’ area.

Paris has two media lounge; though one of them is a real lounge where one can drink coffee or have a sit down lunch and the other a working area for both writers and photographers. The first media lounge, the one inside the Carrousel where the shows are held is a place to hang out. Full in between shows, you really cannot work here. It is just a place to relax.

Outside the Carrousel, but still inside the Louvre, the “working” media lounge is also a picture of tranquility. There are shared tables for photographers while “desks” are available for writers.

In both Milan and Paris, the media lounge offers coffee and snacks; but most of all, there are magazines, books and the day’s copy of several newspapers.

I have written about this before and it seems that someone has been reading. But, truly, the media lounge at the Tents is an embarrassment. There is NOT even enough room for the photographers and their assistants.

Now, the release said, the AOL Media Lounge is supposed to be “an environment committed to empowering the working press to share their coverage of the events of Mercedes?Benz Fashion Week with the world’s fashion enthusiasts.”

Hence, are we finally going to get a place where journalists can actually work? I hope so.

[MARI DAVIS]

One Response

  1. Batavia Mercedes Benz February 9, 2010