It's official: The next Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week in February will be Lincoln Center's last. The Supreme Court of the State of New York County has ruled that Lincoln Center will not renew the sublicense agreement with IMG Fashion, which expires in February. The location -- Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park -- has been in dispute since May 2013, when the New York City Park Advocates and the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development filed a complaint about its use.
The ruling was first posted by the blog A Walk in the Park.
The Supreme Court's decision clarifies Lincoln's Center's relationship with Damrosch Park, which belongs to the city but is maintained and operated by the LCPA. The court rules that any future changes to or use of the park (such as planting trees or hosting events) must be approved by the Parks Department as well as local community organizations. Basically, the court disagrees with the way Lincoln Center has been using the public park and is taking away any autonomy it enjoyed with the space in the past.
But what about the future of New York Fashion Week? Last July, former mayor Michael Bloomberg, CFDA President Diane von Furstenberg and CFDA CEO Steven Kolb outlined a plan to move the shows to a future space called the Culture Shed at Hudson Yards (from 30th to 31st Streets between 10th and 11th Avenues). But the Culture Shed will not be finished until 2018.
In November, the New York Times reported that Alex Poots, who has worked for the Manchester Festival and the Park Avenue Armory, had been named artistic director of Culture Shed, a center that will consist of "three galleries and a roof cafe, as well as a retractable shell that can expand the indoor capacity of the site by gliding out over a plaza to create a large performance space." The Times also reported that so far, $266 million of the $360 million budget had been raised, and the Culture Shed has a proposed operating budget of $28 million per year.
So the question now is: Where will Fashion Week go in the interim? Though many high-profile names moved their presentations elsewhere in the city (Michael Kors and Diane von Furstenberg to Spring Studios, Jeremy Scott and Peter Som to Milk Studios, and so forth), 69 shows still took place at Lincoln Center in September. IMG has yet to announce -- publicly, at least -- where they will go.
Update (6:00 p.m. ET): An IMG spokesperson sent the following statement to Fashionista: "Lincoln Center has been a great home for the past five years and we look forward to another world-class season this February. However, as the fashion industry continues to evolve, IMG has been actively looking for a new home for NYFW that gives our designers and partners the best possible environment to share their creative visions. We look forward to sharing more details on our new home soon."