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Byline: Rosemary Feitelberg
Fashion's Hot Tickets: Should Shows Be Open To Consumers as Well?
Broadway, movie premieres and New York Fashion Week?
With the shows even in the midst of a recession as much about hype and hoopla as hemlines and hairdos, the concept isn't so far-fetched. After all, there already are enough TV cameras cruising the shows in search of any celebrity A, B, C or otherwise to make a Cecil B. DeMille extravaganza. So it's only a model's stride-length to the idea that even more extras and paying ones at that could be invited, creating a new revenue stream for designers and even more publicity.
And there are plenty of eager customers. A recent, informal WWD poll of 105 women in New York stores and on the streets found they were willing to pay for the privilege of sitting in a tiny chair and watching expressionless models walk by.
How much? About $160 on average, with the most in-demand shows being Marc Jacobs, Oscar de la Renta, Betsey Johnson, Badgley Mischka, Vera Wang and Ralph Lauren. And Chanel, too, but that's obviously not part of New York Fashion Week.
There are several hurdles to the idea, however. First of all, most designers and their public relations people aren't too keen on it, believing inviting consumers to fashion weeks might confuse them (as if they already aren't confused by having wool coats on sale in July but not February).
"I feel very strongly it is a very bad idea for consumers to see clothes that they won't be able to buy for six or seven months," said Diane von Furstenberg, president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
Michael Kors concurred. "No …