Bryant Park to Make Up for Fashionless Weeks

Cutting Fashion Week out of the line-up will cost the nonprofit organization that runs Bryant Park $1.3 million a year, its president says, but it hopes to compensate by charging other sponsors more.

Dan Biederman said the Bryant Park Corporation decided in September to oust the twice-yearly Fashion Week because it was taking up too much time and space. A compromise reached by Mayor Bloomberg will keep the event in the park this February but force it to move in time for the following show next fall.

“It does damage at times,” he told us. “It also takes away from the public two months of free skating that we would otherwise offer. The ice rink has to close down in mid-January and it also takes away the entire month of September and the last part of August. That is the best part of the summer…. They have outgrown us.”

The skating rink, which is sponsored by Citibank, brings in $300,000 beyond expenses, he said. The park will be able to add one or two events in the time period freed up by Fashion Week’s departure, and Biederman says that he can get away with charging more for each event. “But those events will be open to the public and the public doesn’t even necessarily have to see those sponsorships.”

He said Fashion Week is considering relocating to Lincoln Center or riverfront piers.

-Matthew Schuerman