Mercedes-Benz Backs Out of New York Fashion WeekIs fashion week even fashion week without the ubiquitous ‘Mercedes-Benz’ title backing it? The creators of New York Fashion Week are now having to consider the question with the announcement that the luxury car manufacturer is dropping its sponsorship of the event––a sponsorship that has been running since 2009.
With Mercedes-Benz officially out of the picture for September’s Spring/Summer 2016 New York Fashion Week, the event has reached out to several other luxury car manufacturers to take its place. What seems like a great business partnership, however, has already been turned down by Cadillac among several others. So why the sudden cold shoulder? Has NYFW lost its edge?
Cadillac’s director of brand and reputation strategy Melody Lee told Bloomberg, “We believe in a thriving New York Fashion Week. But through a unique lens of individual designers who are at the cutting edge or in the process of reinvention,” hinting that they would prefer to work with creatives who are more than just a designer label––a reputation that befalls New York Fashion Week and a reputation that has been making the event more and more irrelevant.
Lee went on to say, “Cadillac wants to nurture those who embrace a mindset of individualism, risk-taking, and entrepreneurial daring,” while the manager of marketing at Lexus, Dennis Thornhill, told Bloomberg “We both care about giving innovators a chance to showcase their talents.”
Mercedes-Benz’s departure from the event is only the latest change that signals New York Fashion Week’s diminishing cool. Since the once unmissable event moved its tents from Bryant Park to the Lincoln Center, the event has become more and more unpopular. And let’s not forget Lexus-sponsored MADE Fashion Week, NYFW’s more creative, up and coming cousin.
With the industry and the public’s renewed concern for originality and accessibility, high fashion, luxury goods and designer labels are becoming replaced in favor of lesser known talent and designs that focus on quality and creativity, rather than commercial value.
As for Mercedes-Benz’s future in fashion? An unnamed spokesperson says, “Fashion and design are still key brand pillars for us. We plan on supporting fashion well into the future.” Evidently just not with New York Fashion Week.