SRQ Magazine | March 2015
The models weren’t the only ones sporting new looks at this year’s New York Fashion Week. Thanks to a team assembled by Fawley-Bryant Architects on behalf of IMG Fashion, the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week event at Lincoln Center boasted a newly constructed atmosphere. The connection between the American fashion world’s big ball came thanks to a long-time relationship between IMG Academy and the Lakewood Ranch architecture firm. Sam Zussman, the former managing director for the academy, now serves as chief business officer for IMG Worldwide and oversees the flagship event for the fashion gathering in New York each year. When it was clear some better venue management was needed, Sussman called up Fawley-Bryant’s Stuart Henderson.
“He wanted Fawley-Bryant to visit the Fall Fashion show, observe the current set-up in Lincoln Center, and then make recommendations for the spring show in February of 2015,” Henderson said. “He asked me to assemble a dynamic team of consultants to investigate the efficiency and flow of the show at Lincoln Center.”
The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week event is the zenith of fashion hype, in which the industry’s top designers present their upcoming collections.Henderson’s team included University of Wisconsin engineering professor Thomas Lacksonen, Broadway scenic designer Christine Jones, LDJ productions president Laurie DeLong and Ron Voller, also of LDJ. Henderson and Fawley-Bryant vice president Steve Padgett visited New York with the group to see the fall event and find new efficiencies for the spring extravaganza. After spotting the places where crowds gather and how they flowed from show to show, the team gathered at IMG Academy in Bradenton to reimagine everything from the backstage area design to the flow of corridors and the lighting schedules.
“It’s a thrilling honor for a Lakewood Ranch firm to be tapped for an event in a global spotlight,” Henderson says. “IMG trusts us to work with them and understand their values and their desire for efficiencies and flow for events and projects,” he says. “They trust us and our process, methodology, timing and craftsmanship.”
The group also consulted with Berlin Fashion Week’s Dominic Kaffka to find ways to imitate that hyper-efficient event. The result was a revamp of Lincoln Center, which hosted the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week for the last time this year. Already, Henderson said, the team plans to come again together as IMG Fashion picks a new sponsor and venue. The ideas implemented in Manhattan can easily be used at Fashion Week events in Berlin, Australia or Istanbul. “As they go forward to a different site, they can take the ideas and efficiencies we have developed,” Henderson says. “Wherever they need a fashion show, these ideas could be used anywhere in the world.” SRQ