For the agencies, presentations don’t necessarily mean doing more with less, and, in effect, taking a hit. Rather, agencies may just be doing things differently with less.
According to Paul Wilmot of Paul Wilmot Communications, runway shows and presentations both demand keeping track of and organizing attendance and press interviews. The workload is basically the same with the exception of seating at the tents. However, he said that while a show at the tents will cost 200,000 - 250,000, a presentation may cost a designer $50,000 -$100,000.
He said that a lot of production agencies' revenues are derived from hard costs, so they're not hurt by a designers' reduction in expenses. "I've spoken to [the production agencies], and they're happy...They can still do pretty well financially."
Presentations also make it easier for editors to see the garments up close and fit in a tight Fashion Week schedule, he said.
"The presentation versus the show appears to be working. I think this is not going to go away."
Kelly Cutrone, owner of fashion agency People's Revolution, saved money for clients this year by combining forces and doing a joint Bryant Park show featuring clients Nicholas K, Sergio Davila, and Mara Hoffman. "I said, you'll be the media darlings of Fashion Week. They joined together and said yes...before meeting each other. "Wer’re moving from the me generation to the we generation," she said, adding that her agency had done a partnership show in the past.
To generate funding for another client's production costs, Cutrone sold tickets to Harvard MBA's. "Now I have a new client base...and [they] brought in an extra ten grand." She was able to donate 50% to a charity in India for building water wells. "People have to be more collaborative and resourceful," she said.
When asked if these kinds of shows will raise the bar on creativity for next year's Fashion Week, she said, "We have to be looking at [the trend], and just kind of anticipate it in a timely manner. A year ago, we were doing that partnership... now we need to approach [Fashion Week PR] with that formula and template."
Would love more thoughts, from a PR and production standpoint.