BMW + Mercedes Fashion Week Showdown. Vroom.-------
There’s always been room for boy toys at fashion week, but is there room for Mercedes-Benz and BMW? This weekend, the two automakers are duking it out with back-to-back fashion parties. BMW has pulled a fast one by hosting its own event tonight, the night before Mercedes’—the official sponsor—kickoff at Shang (which will feature a performance by the Virgins and a $300,000 limited-edition SL65 sitting pretty outside). Tonight, BMW is toasting the new, customizable 7 Series
with the help of Italian Vogue editor Franca Sozzani, who recently co-designed one. (Details are sketchy, but we’re told she had it upholstered in a combination of felt, washed wool, and leather.) With Joy Bryant, Helena Christensen, and Chanel Iman co-hosting, it’s sure to be a little swingier than your typical cars-and-cocktails soirée.
To the big spender goes the spoils, though, and Mercedes-Benz has seemingly thrown recession woes to the wind in an effort to spread itself all over Bryant Park and beyond. Even if you don’t refer to this
time of year as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, it’s hard to walk into the tents without feeling that, well, maybe you should. That AMG Black Series model to your left goes from 0 to 60 in 3.6 seconds and has an “air-scarf” heating system that targets your neck (consider it a go-everywhere accessory). True to tradition—and admirably, in this economy—M-B is covering costs for a designer who might not otherwise be able to pull off a show at the tents. This season, it’s Yigal Azrouël. (Last fall it was Ralph Rucci; the brand’s past partnerships include Badgley Mischka and Tracy Reese.) His post-show party will be in the Maurice Villency-designed backstage lounge, where, during a Tuesday hot toddy session, Mercedes will be handing out a ski trip to Stowe, Vermont. How do we know the dream is still alive at fashion week? Even automakers are in a giving mood.