“ In 1993, [the first official] New York Fashion Week was organized partially in response to an accident at a 1990 Michael Kors show:
the ceiling plaster collapsed.
The bass music came on as all the one-name supermodels — CINDY [Crawford], LINDA [Evangelista], and NAOMI [Campbell] — took the runway, and chunks of the plaster fell down and landed in the laps of Carrie Donovan and Suzy Menkes, then editors at The New York Times and the International Herald Tribune.
‘We live for fashion, but we don’t want to die for it’ became the mantra.
I had just been hired as executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and it became my mission to find a safe place to present the collections.
Bryant Park made sense: it was the backyard of the fashion industry, close to the garment center, and a centralized location in Manhattan.
We weren’t allowed on the grass at the time, so there were a couple of long, narrow tents that ran north to south along the park, parallel to Sixth Avenue, and a third venue inside the New York Public Library.
Sixty designers showed. Seeing the tents come together was a collective dream come true. I remember the first walk-through of the space as the lighting was rigged up, and the first soundcheck.
The music just blasted, and we all looked at each other and got chills.
It was really exciting, and the first-ever event of that magnitude in the fashion industry.
— as told to The Thick