New York Fashion Week's next home, following a less than well-received tenancy at Lincoln Center, might be a place called the Culture Shed. The Culture Shed, despite sounding like a bad nightclub, will be a "sprawling, modern center" within $15 billion westside development project the Hudson Yards, and it was the subject of a press conference with Mayor Bloomberg this morning.
Coach confirmed their plans to open a global headquarters there, WWD is reporting. According to the trade, the complex will also house "office buildings, residential and retail space, a 150-room hotel, 14 acres of public space and a sprawling, modern center called the Culture Shed, which, according to Bloomberg, 'will eventually' host Fashion Week."
We've never seen Bloomberg at a fashion show, but he seemed aware of fashion week's growth and the need for a better location. He said at the press conference:
'Fashion week has grown so much. It’s outgrown Lincoln Center already. It certainly outgrew Bryant Park a long time ago. The fashion industry is part of our diversification plan.…It’s an enormous industry that creates a lot of jobs.…We need to make sure that we have the venues for these kinds of events and the Cultural Shed is one of those buildings that would be built to be able to handle that along with others [events].'
While Bloomberg seems pretty confident that fashion week will happen there, the CFDA doesn't confirm anything other than the fact that the location has been on their radar since 2006, when Steven Kolb and Diane von Furstenberg reportedly met with Bloomberg to discuss it. Kolb tells WWD, “If there is something at the Culture Shed, we want to try to be part of that. It doesn’t mean fashion [and fashion week] will go there, but at this point in their planning, they are including fashion in their conversation.”
If the culture shed is large enough to, in an organized way, accomodate all of the off-site shows that Lincoln Center and Bryant Park were too small for, that would be nice. It's also closer to the garment center and downtown venues than Lincoln Center. However, one drawback would be the fact that the location is wayyy far west--over three avenues away from any subway--though, so are a lot of shows during fashion week. To ease accessibility, there are plans to expand the 7 train to stop at 34th Street & 11th Avenue, as well as plans to expand the Highline to 30th street, which, interestingly enough, were financed by CFDA President Diane von Furstenberg and her husband Barry Diller.
This would also benefit the Hudson Yards' gigantic mall, which, as has been rumored, has a strong chance of being anchored by the city's first Nordstrom. Construction on the mall, which will be glass-enclosed with views of the Hudson and Manhattan skylines and have up to 750,000 square feet over five or six levels, is set to finish in 2015.
But, back to fashion week's new locale: do you think people will actually call it the Culture Shed?