Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

A Runway Paved with Gold

September 23, 2009

Gold bars   Who needs the runway when Goldfinger’s got your back?
   Fashion industry watchers wonder whether more designers will use Times Square’s neon signs as a virtual runway in the future, like Carmen Marc Valvo  did with his spring/summer 2010 show during New York Fashion Week. More to the point, will more designers follow his lead next time by asking the World Gold Council  and the Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. – or other financial markets players — to help foot the bill?

A Valvo spokesman says the cost was “about half” that of a runway show in the Bryant Park Tents.  The tab usually starts at $100,000 and can run $250,000 or more, depending on how many models and special effects are involved. This was perhaps the flashiest example of how designers, hit hard by the recession, are seeking more sponsorships to finance their New York shows than in the past. Check out this video of the Times Square show, which ran on the neon signs of Nasdaq, Thomson Reuters and Fox:
    
  Even with gold trading above $1,000 an ounce, that’s still less than what some of Valvo’s gowns go for at  Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.
   The World Gold Council’s Duvall O’Steen said the group paid 10 models and other show expenses — the first time it’s taken such a high-profile role at Fashion Week. Check out this video as O’Steen talks about fashion and gold jewelry:

       In fact, the World Gold Council is getting more requests now for corporate event sponsorships than it can accommodate, O’Steen said. And it’s happening after a year when a drop in world gold mining production curbed its budget for such affairs.
        Bruce Aust, Nasdaq’s executive vice president of the corporate client group, also explains why the made its first foray into fashion:

     Michael Quintanilla, who covers fashion for the San Antonio Express-News and two other Hearst newspapers, told Reuters: “Times Square was the perfect place for a fashion show. With all that neon, it’s very ‘Blade Runner.’ I loved the format. You could drop in when you wanted, have a cocktail, talk to Carmen, see the clothes and leave, without being herded into a space like cattle and being forced to wait.”

         What’s next? DeBeers Presents Dennis Basso?

Reuters Photo by Yuriko Nakao

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