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Blog: New York Fashion Week the cost

I am still at New York Fashion Week at the moment, and after hearing how much it costs to put on a fashion show, opening a shop seems cheap in comparison!

As an advisor for a retail property consultants, Lunson Mitchenall, I am often approached by new retailers who are looking to grasp the costs involved in opening a shop. Of course there is the rent to consider, and the council rates which can be up to half the rent, the service charge (if the unit is located in a shopping centre), insurance, staffing costs etc. Of course if the retailer gets the location and store concept right, it can lead to a lucrative business.

Many of the big New York catwalk shows are held at the tents at Bryant Park where there are three runway spaces of varying capacity. Renting one of these spaces alone can cost up to $80,000 for 3 hours. This does not include any of the costs such as the lighting, the set design, the DJ, the sound engineers, the models (which can cost up to $3,000 for a couple of hours of their time), the in-house videographer, the in-house photographer, the production team, plus some celebrities are paid for...The list goes on. And that also doesn't include the costs of the after party with open bar! It is not as easy to quantify the return on a fashion show as it is for a store, but it certainly adds to the glamour of the brand, plus its a great way for the designer to showcase their collection in front of buyers and the press.

Diane von Furstenberg showed at the largest runway at Bryant Park yesterday. It was celebrity gridlock on the front row, as Jennifer Lopez, Eva Longoria, Uma Thurman and Venus Williams turned up in support. Von Furstenberg's influence was that of optimism and freedom, as models breezed down the runway wearing floral head dresses and ruffled dresses. The look was bohemian and light, which is a departure from von Furstenberg's city chic look that she is famed for. Gypsy blouses were adored with floral prints, and tunic dresses were covering in pastel sequins. Some devoted DvF fans might be put off by this flower child look, however she may just attract new fans to her brand by widening her appeal.

BCBG acquired the Herve Leger name a couple of years ago, and have successfully brought this brand to the public eye through the plethora of celebrities that are wearing these famous bandage dresses. I am beginning to think that this brand is a one trick pony as there are only so many ways to design a bandage dress. The show was certainly sexy as the models wore the tightest and tiniest dresses possible, and there were a few interesting pale leather paneled dresses. Herve Leger will continue to adorn the celebrity scene this year, but I would like to see more variety in the collection in the coming seasons.

Aisling Cullen is the Retail Fashion Advisor for Lunson Mitchenall

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