New York, NY, March 31, 2010 - Some of America’s top fashion designers gathered Wednesday evening for a reception kicking off Fashion Center Sidewalk Catwalk, a public art project that will bring more than 30 one-of-a-kind works of art and fashion to Broadway this summer. The designers got their first look at the collection of unique and innovative materials selected by Material ConneXion for use in the project.
The reception was held at the Madison Avenue headquarters of Material ConneXion, a partner in the Sidewalk Catwalk project. The organization is the world’s leading materials consultancy and library of innovative and sustainable materials. Designers joined representatives from the Fashion Center Business Improvement District (BID) and Material ConneXion, as well as Sidewalk Catwalk chair Fern Mallis, in celebrating the beginning of the project’s design phase.
“This is a wonderful way to kick off a spectacular public art project,” said Barbara Randall, president of the Fashion Center BID, which created Sidewalk Catwalk. “The array of innovative materials compiled by Material ConneXion will not only enrich the art it helps to make; it will change the way people view art and fashion.”
“Today is an exciting day, as it marks the start of a public art project that will attract fashion and art lovers from throughout the country and around the world to New York City’s Fashion District,” said Fern Mallis. “Material ConneXion has selected a wonderful assortment of materials for Sidewalk Catwalk that will allow the designers to create truly incredible and memorable works of art.”
Hitting the streets on June 24, the Fashion Center Sidewalk Catwalk will bring together thirty of America's top designers – including Tommy Hilfiger, Kenneth Cole, Isaac Mizrahi, Nicole Miller, Diane von Furstenberg, Donna Karan, Norma Kamali, Ralph Rucci, Michael Kors, Nanette Lepore, Stephen Burrows, Betsey Johnson, Badgley Mischka, Rachel Roy, Anna Sui, Yeohlee Teng, Carmen Marc Valvo, John Bartlett, Victor Alfaro, Thom Browne, Maria Cornejo, Carlos Falchi, Prabal Gurung, Adam Lippes, Catherine Malandrino, Rebecca Moses, Jill Stuart, Rebecca Taylor and Isabel Toledo – to create a compelling exhibit in the heart of the Fashion District.
Sponsored by Macy’s, Sidewalk Catwalk will include custom-built Ralph Pucci mannequins "walking" on the Broadway Boulevard between Times Square and Herald Square, each modeling a bold, one-of-a-kind manifestation of its designer's artistic vision. The designers will be assisted by select students from the Parsons School of Design. In addition, each school will have its own mannequin to stylize and dress.
As retail sponsor and in support of the Fashion District, Macy’s will celebrate Sidewalk Catwalk with a multi-tiered marketing and public relations campaign including dynamic window displays, exclusive merchandise, in-store special events and an outdoor V.I.P. party to kick-off the launch of the exhibition in June 2010.
When Sidewalk Catwalk concludes the week before Labor Day, the sculptured, dressed, one-of-a-kind Mannequins will be auctioned off, with the proceeds going to NYC-based non-profit Materials for the Arts. A collaboration between New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Department of Sanitation and Department of Educaction, Materials for the Arts is a reuse program that supplies materials to New York City’s cultural organizations for free. The organization is also the largest supplier of arts materials to New York City public schools.
Sidewalk Catwalk is part of the Department of Transportation’s Artervention Program.
The Fashion Center Business Improvement District (www.fashioncenter.com), a not-for-profit corporation, was established in 1993 to improve the quality of life and economic vitality of Manhattan’s Fashion District. Through programs in the areas of streetscape improvements, sanitation and public safety services, marketing and promotions, economic development, and community service, efforts are aimed at promoting the district as a strategic midtown business location and ensuring New York's position as the fashion capital of the world.