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Designer Mannequin Parade on Fashion Avenue

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Most New Yorkers have walked past “Fashion Avenue,” the stretch of sidewalk in the historic Garment District dedicated to the most influential designers. Recently, a “Sidewalk Catwalk” event was held that marched up Broadway between West 34th Street and 42nd Street.

The event was inspired by the “Cow Parade” some years back that brought installations of hundreds of cattle-sized sculptures of cows to cities around the world. Artists created sculptures in honor of other artists, such as Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, and even certain ideas with a cow-twist, such as “A Mooz Art Moment” to honor the composer Mozart. Sponsoring companies also created statues decorated to promote their brands, and after the installation, the cows were auctioned with the proceeds going to charities. 

The fashion industry version honors particular designers and their brand message with mannequins designed by Pucci Mannequins, and an online charity auction will also follow this installation.

I was given the opportunity to unveil a mannequin at the premiere on June 24th. The event, sponsored by LF USA, was studded with famous designers such as Tommy Hilfiger and Betsey Johnson, but the secret attraction was student teams from FIT and Parsons. Each school showcased the best work of their student body by designing two of the mannequins, which contrasted with the more commercial corporate-sponsored mannequins surrounding them. Other designers with mannequins on display included Kenneth Cole, Norma Kamali, Rachel Roy, and Isabel Toledo among 32 other designer participants.

After a welcome ceremony in front of the original Macy’s of Herald Square, each mannequin was revealed at the exact same time by LIM students, and the crowd response was phenomenal. 

While each designer walked up Broadway to their respective mannequins for explanations and interviews, pedestrians stopped on their lunch breaks to witness a piece of fashion history. The diversity of styles and stories the mannequins manage to convey is fascinating. 

The display will be up all summer long, until September 3, and is absolutely free. All mannequins will be auctioned off on for charity. The website below has more information and will even enable you to vote on your favorite design. You definitely won’t want to miss out on these fabulous works of art.

--Michelle Hamm

Further Reading:

The exhibit:

The inspiration:

A site that examines charities and reports  news about them:

Topics: fashion industry