New York Fashion Week has already gotten off to a bit of a dramatic start.
Yesterday, we got an email from PR and production agency People's Revolution noting the following:
People's Revolution is canceling our participation in the David Tlale show, Thursday September 5 9:30am in the Box at Lincoln Center as we have not been paid. Please note no one from production will be in attendance.
Very Best, People's Revolution
Which we thought was strange, since the show would be taking place less than 24 hours later.
WWD caught up with People's Rev owner Kelly Cutrone, who explained her decision to pull out. Her agreement with Tlale was that they would pay 50% of the fee upon signing, and the remaining $15,000 before the show. As of yesterday, the remainder hadn't come through. She said she told Tlale Wednesday that “if you don’t honor your agreement, you’re no longer in our care,” and they would resign immediately. She sent out the email as a professional courtesy.
Tlale claims they were planning to pay the entire amount today, as "payments were delayed from my side," but that, "She was not willing to wait." He added that, coming from South Africa, he didn't "know how they [PR companies] work" and learned his lesson: "to pay in advance." He says he had already paid IMG for his Lincoln Center show space and presumably still plans to show--which will be pretty tricky without production or PR. Even with those resources, designers scramble to put shows together.
PR is really expensive for designers who aren't established, and I've seen instances of designers failing to pay, PRs holding samples hostage until they do, etc.
Of course, People's Revolution is no stranger to drama having twice been the setting for a reality TV show. And, this isn't the first time the firm has made headlines for show-related snafus. Remember when Yigal Azrouel fired the firm for ushering former Eliot Spitzer call girl Ashley Dupre into the front row? [Ed. note: Truth be told, I thought that was an awesome move by People's Rev.]