This September promises to be a New York Fashion Week like never before. After two seasons of endless Zoom sessions, digital shows, remote shoots, and prolonged distance from our fashion friends and colleagues, we are finally getting back to a pre-Covid show schedule.
For the past two seasons, FOCUS. was the only production company to safely produce live fashion shows for limited audiences [in New York City], offering a rare in-person thrill between digital events – but I still can’t wait to experience that incomparable feeling of producing and calling a larger show again. “Standby music, standby model – 3,2,1, GO!” The first beat kicks in, the first model appears on the runway, goosebumps – that’s the moment when all the hard work that dozens of creatives have done over many months comes to life. We are so ready experience that magic again, and so very soon!
At the same time, despite all the anticipation, we can’t just push aside the past 18 months, which have so profoundly impacted each of us and our broader fashion industry. Fortunately, we know so much more about the coronavirus now than we did back in March 2020. With these learnings, we’ve identified three key safety practices that will allow our community to come together at NYFW: The Shows and get the fashion industry back to work safely.
Since the pandemic began, IMG has worked hand in hand with New York, architecting the first return-to-live events plan that was ultimately adopted by events across the state, starting with a few select, intimate events. Now, following guidance from the CDC, and working closely with New York State and New York City, we have developed a comprehensive training manual to enable the broader fashion industry to host live, in-person events during NYFW this September.
In partnership with the CFDA, we invite the industry to adopt these three key practices from our H&S Training Guide so that we can reunite as an industry and rebuild Fashion Week together, safely:
HOW IMG ENSURES THE FASHION COMMUNITY’S HEALTH AND SAFETY DURING NYFW
1) Require all individuals entering the show venue to provide proof of full-course COVID-19 vaccination, consistent with state and federal law.
For NYFW: The Shows, proof of vaccination can be provided in the following ways:
1. The New York State Excelsior Pass, which provides secure, digital proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results for New York residents
2. CLEAR, which is available to all US residents and provides secure, digital proof of COVID-19 vaccination
3. Physical copy of the original vaccination documentation from the healthcare provider that performed the vaccination
Any minors under the age of 16 may provide proof of a negative antigen test (taken within 6 hours of arrival) or negative PCR test (taken within 72 hours of arrival), in lieu of proof of full-course COVID-19 vaccination, to enter our central venue.
For our international guests and staff, we will accept COVID-19 vaccines approved in the individual’s country of origin, such as AstraZeneca, providing that a full course has been completed and original documentation is furnished.
2) Recommend that participants wear masks indoors at all times, except in designated eating and drinking areas or when models are walking the runway.
While many of the vaccinated among us have relished in the opportunity to set aside our masks this summer, the CDC, New York State and New York City have all strongly recommended mask wearing indoors, and we support that guidance. Current CDC recommendations indicate that mask wearing is still a vital precaution indoors, even for vaccinated individuals when in substantial or high-risk transmission zones.
While vaccination is certainly an essential step to combat Covid-19, masks offer each of us an additional layer of protection – and the more layers of protection, the more peace of mind we’ll have. So please, mask up when indoors.
3) Reduce guest capacity in all show venues.
Reflecting the changing needs of designers today, NYFW: The Shows has reimagined its venue options to reduce guest capacity and to space out flexible seating elements, allowing for more breathing room and creative flexibility while maintaining equivalent square footage available in February 2020. Additionally, we have added an open-air venue to the footprint for the second time, offering an option for designers who prefer to host their guests outdoors.
In addition to these three key practices, we will also be implementing other essential safety measures, like increased focus on sanitation; IMG cleaning staff will follow all CDC and Department of Health cleaning and sanitization procedures, and hand sanitizer will be abundantly provided throughout the venue. Likewise, we will avoid buffet-style catering; all food backstage will be packaged, and models and staff will have their own devoted food and beverage consumption areas. Lastly, NYFW: The Shows Covid-19 Compliance staff will be present throughout the venue to ensure safety protocols are followed. You can find full details on our plan in the NYFW: The Shows Health & Safety Training Manual, available here.
To ensure New York City and NYFW’s revitalization, it’s paramount that we each remember to keep health and safety at the forefront as we come together as a fashion community.
We urge you to implement these key safety measures, and we can’t wait to see you all at NYFW as we celebrate fashion’s return to ‘live’ this September.
#HOW IMG ENSURES THE FASHION COMMUNITY’S HEALTH AND SAFETY DURING NYFW