Op-Ed

Bryant Park: Parting is such sweet sorrow

Tent at Bryant Park Feb 2010NEW YORK, (UPDATED Feb 10, 2010) Feb 9, 2010 / — As the fashion industry says goodbye to Bryant Park, here’s what some have to say…

Adam Lippes: “The Tents have always held a certain awe for me—combined with excitement, glamour and fun…”

Amy Astley, Teen Vogue: “Lincoln Center is one of the most magical places and the fashion world can be proud to celebrate its own creativity and artistry there.”

Amy Smilovic, Tibi: “We are thrilled with the move to Lincoln Center.”

Tent at Bryant Park Feb 2010Angel Sanchez: “New York was my big Dream, Bryant Park my first challenge!”

Anna Sui: “We just rolled our racks over from our office like a big caravan… the simplicity of it will be missed.”

Anna Wintour, Vogue: “Bryant Park became the beacon of what New York fashion stands for—an industry that’s fearless, tireless, and always moving forward.”

Betsey Johnson: “Bye bye to years of terrific Sixth Avenue tent tales… Hello hello to more fun shows at Lincoln Center.”

Carlos Miele: “Bryant Park has been my window to the world since my first show in New York;
I have met so many people from different places.”

Tent at Bryant Park Feb 2010Carmen Marc Valvo: “The Tents not only gave me a platform for my designs but also a pulpit to share my colon cancer story. I have had some of the most memorable moments in my life in
Bryant Park; they will be missed.”

Christian Siriano: “I’m happy to be a part of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week as a young designer.
It is something that I’m proud of and will always remember.”

Christophe Lemaire, Lacoste: “Bryant Park is where Lacoste and I grew up together… but evolution is nature’s survival kit. We look forward to discovering the new species of catwalk at Lincoln Center!”

Tent at Bryant Park Feb 2010Cynthia Rowley: “The first real show I ever had was here in Bryant Park. Now, there’s nothing that makes me more excited/nervous than seeing the Tents rise twice a year.”

Dan & Corina Lecca, Fashion Photographers: “All we can say is thank you to Bryant Park!”

Daniel Biederman, Bryant Park Corporation: “We have beautified Bryant Park in many ways, and CFDA and IMG Fashion helped us beautify it in another. All the best in your new partnership with Lincoln Center!”

Diane von Furstenberg: “Bryant Park became the heartbeat of fashion twice a year… we will miss it!”

Tent at Bryant Park Feb 2010Donna Karan: “Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is when all of New York comes together to shine a light on its family of designers. We share a runway, a calendar, an audience—and of course, the spotlight. As a result, it has given us a world presence. There’s no better way to support our industry than when we stand together as one.”

Elie Tahari: “The Tents have always been the center of the fashion universe and no matter where they are, they will continue to represent the best of American fashion.”

Erin Fetherston: “As an American designer in Paris, I often fantasized about showing at Bryant Park… having my first runway show here really was a dream come true. The people, the music, the lights… it’s electric.”

Tent at Bryant Park Feb 2010Erin Wasson: “I’ve spent hours in the Tents working as a model with some of the icons of American fashion. Showing my collection on the same runway was surreal—humbling and honored are the words that come to mind.”

Ernst Lieb, Mercedes-Benz USA: “Mercedes-Benz design speaks to individuals who are fashion driven.”

Fern Mallis, IMG Fashion: “The Tents at Bryant Park succeeded and triumphed beyond my wildest expectations. I am so proud of how they became the lightening rod for fashion in America.”

Francine Parnes, Associated Press: “We squeezed into showrooms, we schlepped to the Piers. Till Bryant Park headlined, for 17 years. The photogs’ flash frenzy, the fancy front row, celebrity gridlock, now on with the show!”

Tent at Bryant Park Feb 2010Francine Parnes, Associated Press: “I’m on the list. Don’t you know who I am?”

Francine Parnes, Associated Press: “The greatest show on earth. Lights, cameras, fashion!”

Gayle Dizon, Dizon Inc.: “Moving the shows to Lincoln Center, an equally vibrant crossroads of culture in New York City, will bring fresh challenges and opportunities for everyone.”

Gene Krell, Vogue Japan: “Bryant Park is the showcase for the best in American talent, giving it an international reputation second to none.”

Gisele Bündchen: “I’ll always have fond memories of the Tents in Bryant Park, it was one of the earlier highlights of my career.”

Glenda Bailey, Harper’s Bazaar: “Lincoln Center is home to New York’s greatest cultural moments—now it’s ready for its fashion moment. I’m thrilled that fashion is taking center stage at Lincoln Center.”

Hilary Rhoda: “My favorite memory was walking in my first Zac Posen show. It was also exciting as my family was there to watch me close the show!”

Ivan Bart, IMG Models: “Scheduling models to walk the runway can be stressful and hectic, but when the lights go down and the music begins… magic happens.

Jill Stuart: “The memories are incredibly dear to me. I feel so fortunate to have been able to show my collections here since the very beginning. I look forward to more exciting changes at Lincoln Center.”

Jim Moore, GQ: “Whether it’s raining or snowing or the most beautiful day in New York City, I always look forward to getting inside the Tents and settling into some good fashion.”

Joanna Coles, Marie Claire: “The cappuccinos, the tables, the sunlight, the models just hanging out… the fabulousity at Bryant Park is New York at its very best.”

John Crocco, Perry Ellis: “We’re grateful to be a part of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Perry
Ellis began his career on Seventh Avenue and we are honored to be able to continue his legacy.”

John Varvatos: “I launched my brand with a show at Bryant Park in 2000. It was one of the most special events of my life.”

Judy Licht, Lifestyle Correspondent (T): “What happened in Bryant Park was magic.”

Judy Rice, Judith Rice & Associates: “I have endless gratitude for the gift of a career I was given when the Tents were born.”

Julie Mannion, KCD Public Relations: “The inception and evolution of the Tents over the past 17 years served as both the catalyst and the ballast in solidifying New York as a global fashion capital.”

Karolina Kurkova: “The Tents weren’t just a location, they were a place that symbolized fashion and community.”

Kelly Cutrone, People’s Revolution: “I remember walking into the Tents for the very first time, a dreamer and a stranger to this world.”

Kenneth Cole: “Although less in-tents than Bryant Park, Lincoln Center will be a wonderful home for the inspiring and clothes minded.”

Kevin Krier, Kevin Krier & Associates: “Greatest supermodel opening ever: Todd Oldham with Christy, Linda, Naomi, Cindy, Amber, Shalom and Kate.”

Lauren Hutton: “I began modeling in 1965 when there were only shows in Paris. When Bryant Park started, fashion became a world event. It was exhilarating.”

Leslie Stevens & James LaForce, LaForce + Stevens: “Bryant Park was a fashion feast, an opportunity for established and emerging talent to be seen by the world. We were thrilled to have a seat at the table. And we look forward to continuing the excitement at Lincoln Center.”

Linda Wells, Allure: “The Tents turned fashion into a destination and an event that extended beyond the runways and penetrated the culture. Crowds of people gathered, celebrities showed up, news vans descended—it was what fashion should be in this country: exciting, important, vital and fun.”

Lynn Tesoro, HL Group: “Centralizing the shows in Bryant Park was a game changer. It created a global stage and put us on par with Paris and Milan.”

Mark Badgley & James Mischka: “Showing in Bryant Park has been a major part of the fashion world for us. The Tents have been an amazing venue, but things in fashion and the city change—we hope that Lincoln Center will be as wonderful an experience!”

Max Azria: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and for me, my wife and our business, showing at the Tents in Bryant Park was the step that started it all.”

Michael Kors: “The Tents took New York fashion to another level—strength in numbers.”

Michelle Smith, Milly by Michelle Smith: “Nothing could match the thrill of my first runway show in 2004. I could not hold back the tears of joy when I walked out to take my bow and spotted my parents in the front row!”

Nanette Lepore: “Opening the door of the backstage area to greet the crew that I have come to know and love, putting the final touches on the collection with my team in surroundings that felt like an extension of my design studio and then finally to walk the runway with my daughter Violet, have made for many great times at the Tents.”

Narciso Rodriquez: “Bryant Park has come to represent countless great memories here in New York. I am looking forward to building on those moments at Lincoln Center.”

Nina Garcia, Marie Claire: “Bryant Park put the term ‘The Tents’ on the map and gave them a whole new meaning—one of unparalleled glamour and prestige that will forever be an integral part of fashion history.”

Norma Kamali: “Style, fashion, and the Tents, now part of the folklore history of New York City.”

Patricia Field, Costume Designer: “Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week brings excitement, glamour and feelings of happiness to us all.”

Paul Wilmot, Paul Wilmot Communications: “The Tents signaled and defined the moment that American fashion became world fashion.”

Phillip Lim: “I’ll never forget the first time I showed here… the energy, excitement and emotion underneath one roof was so immense. I was amazed that the Tents could contain it all.”

Rachel Dodes, Wall Street Journal: “Even though Fall 2010 is the last season at Bryant Park, the Tents will never be ‘so last season.’”

Rebecca Taylor: “Bryant Park is the heart of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. We have been showing our collection there for 13 seasons. I remember the very first time we showed at the Tents. We were beyond excited—there was this feeling of ‘having arrived.’”

Robert Janjigian, Palm Beach Daily News: “Most memorable moment: the last Bill Blass runway show. It was raining cats and dogs that day—a hurricane as I recall. Even remember drips from the ceiling of the big tent… a moment, definitely.”

Ruth Finley, Fashion Calendar: “The Bryant Park shows have strengthened New York’s Fashion Week.”

Stan Herman: “American fashion made this park the heart of the city.”

Stefano Tonchi, T:The New York Times Style Magazine: “New York is the Democratic Capital of Fashion; everybody gets a chance to live the American Dream!”

Stephanie Solomon, Bloomingdales: “I will always be grateful to all of the security guards who worked the Tents, who helped to make the last few years of Kal Ruttenstein’s life happier because he was able to continue what he loved the most about the industry… the fashion shows.”

Steven Cox and Daniel Silver, Duckie Brown: “We always dream big…and to be able to show at Bryant Park all these years has been a dream come true.”

Steven Kolb, CFDA: “CFDA is proud to have been the original organizers of the Tents in Bryant Park. They have become the heart of New York fashion and there isn’t an aspiring designer who hasn’t dreamed of showing here.”

Suzy Menkes, International Herald Tribune: “A ceiling crumbling over my head at Michael Kors nearly made me history. Bravo to Bryant Park that the Tents have never (yet!) come down.”

Teri Agins, Wall Street Journal: “The Tents were simply the best.”

Terron Schaefer, Saks Fifth Avenue: “The Tents brought people from around the world to see the best America has to offer, supported emerging designers, and attracted the talent and investment that have made this a world-class industry.”

Tim Gunn: “I propose that a plaque be mounted in the park as a legacy: ‘The Bryant Park Tents 1993-2010 branded New York as the indisputable Fashion Capital of the World.’”

Tommy Hilfiger: “The Bryant Park shows forever changed the fashion industry—they inspired an unprecedented camaraderie amongst New York designers. Lincoln Center is the perfect new home for the Tents—both are iconic cultural institutions.”

Tracy Reese: “Bryant Park will always have a special place in my heart. Showing in the Tents meant ‘you made it.’ I’m looking forward to the future at Lincoln Center and showing my collection in a distinguished setting immersed in culture, history and beauty.”

Ty Yorio, Citadel Security: “From a security point of view, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is exhausting but totally alluring. Few events in New York can match the electricity and excitement generated from the first show to the last.”

Vanessa Williams: “New location, same excitement! Only in New York!”

Vivienne Tam: “The first season at Bryant Park was my first fashion show and the most
memorable moment of my career.”

Yeohlee Teng: “The inception of the Tents at Bryant Park in 1993 was a defining moment for
fashion and the city of New York.”

Yildiz Blackstone, Luca Luca: “I feel like I grew up here…”

Zang Toi: “The magic that happens under the Tents has truly become the landmark of New
York!”