New York's biannual Fashion Week is moving upscale.
Mercedes-Benz has signed a three-year deal with 7th on Sixth Inc., the event's organizer, to become the title sponsor of the weeklong fashion show. The event will now be known as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. The sponsorship was kicked off last week at the Fall 2001 show, which runs until Feb. 16. The sponsorship will also cover Spring 2002, starting Sept. 6.
General Motors had been the title sponsor since 1998 and the exclusive automotive sponsor since 1993, but the contract was not renewed. GM spent about $1 million per year to be the premier sponsor.
Carol Goll, regional communications director for Mercedes-Benz USA, says the event reaches an individualistic, luxury-minded audience. It takes place at Bryant Park in New York, and attracts a global audience of designers, analysts, media people and fashion enthusiasts.
Goll says sponsoring Fashion Week ties Mercedes-Benz's name to one of the most heavily covered fashion events in the world. E! Entertainment Television will broadcast live from Fall 2001, and the event will be covered by an array of broadcast, print and Internet media outlets. About 80 percent of those in attendance are members of the media, according to event organizers.
The Mercedes-Benz logo will be splashed on everything from official show signs to shuttle buses, and an assortment of its vehicles will be on display.
In the future, Mercedes-Benz will look to follow GM's lead in creating a philanthropic program to accompany the fashion sponsorship. Concept: Cure was devised by GM to raise money to research breast cancer and worked hand in hand with the 7th on Sixth event. Goll said that planning for a similar promotion has begun.