What is the correlation between fashion and cars? The two seem to go hand in hand. Take Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, for example, to research just how much this week has to say about the partnership.
The idea of this twice-annual fashion fair, formerly known as Press Week, started in 1943 when "American insiders" were unable to travel to Paris to see the French shows to take away the attention from the designers overseas during World War II.
History be told, publicist Eleanor Lambert organized this iconic movement that would withstand time and mountains of challenges that came with it. Who know the very concept would become a global success?
It has been said that fashion houses were spending well up to $750,000 to present their collections during what I call the "Oscars, Academy, Grammy Awards of the Fashion Industry." Of course, this was all prior to the recession that hit the world in 2009.
I can still recall when seasons were sponsored by Olympus, and we all called it "Olympus
Fashion Week." To gain some knowledge of the great history of the organizations and the icons that made this event the most sought after, students of fashion and people who just share an interest in the industry may want to own, rent or download the movie The Tents. In this documentary, you will hear vivid depictions, witness challenges first hand,
the joys of show completion and see highlights of what makes this more then just a show, but what makes it a historical piece of American history.
So now let us get into our grand sponsor, Mercedes-Benz. Why has this partnership been created? How did this bridge form in the first place? Well, thank about it... Who in their right mind would spend $200 on Wolford pantyhose, $4,000 for a pant suit, drop $2,000 on a dress that was designed by Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, Chanel, Dior, etc? Should I go further? Those who love labels get the picture.
And for the rest of you... Don't think for a minute that these price tags are for the fabric alone! No, my friend, you are paying for a piece of modern art, a piece of today's history. You are paying to have the privilege to make a statement with this piece, or perhaps it will become a collectors' item. Simply put, you are buying your way in to the life and style of the 1%.
And when you can't or won't spend those hefty prices, you'll often see women settle for the $30-50 bottle of nail polish, just so they can own a piece of that designer, a piece of that legacy, in their own home.
It is for that very reason that Mercedes-Benz is a brilliant partner for Fashion Week, in my opinion. Ask yourself something. What is the difference between the Hyundai, Toyota, Lexus, BMW, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz and the Jaguars, Bentleys, Mazaratis, and Peugos (I can keep going)? What is special about their difference, besides the obvious?
Or lack there of it. But for some it is just pure desire. Or Status.
Mercedes-Benz, with its rich history, not only creates a fine piece of machinery, but also promotes a lifestyle that its owners demand and live by. It is not just a car that takes you from point A to point Z. It takes you to "infinity and beyond," if you have the proper mindset and disposition.
Also, knowing your worth plays a long way too. I am sure you count so many other things you can buy with the price of a Benz. But why would one deny herself the pleasure?
Okay, it could be for the same reason that one would own a Picasso or Kahlo. Or maybe collectors' items, such as a piece of literature from Twain, Hemingway, Wright, Hughes, etc.
The honest answer is that, depending you have the cash, you just can't help it. You appreciate the finer things. You cherish them. You value the very process of owning these items and the image they portray. These things are all works of art.
This season I had the honor of talking to two of the most amazing people who were part of this historical contribution to fashion. The first is Claire Distenfeld, owner of Famed Fashion Boutique Fivestory.
This beauty may fool you with her teen fresh face, but she is very accomplished.
Distenfeld curated the displays that prominently stood in the lobby of the tents. She was the genius in charge of putting the display near the all-new S-Class for all the fashionistas to be cozy with as they entered into the grandly designed space. Distenfeld felt that the partnership was a great match considering the first of the five senses were already tapped into with the characteristic of car. She just added the je ne sais quoi and let the magic happen.
The second person is Wesley Cadle, an absolute genius of decor. He brilliantly created a space that any first lady or queen would be honored to sit in. The atmosphere not only catered to the finest of palletes but was cozy enough that your grandmother would be at ease as well. The space most definitely made the young want to put their Sunday best on, and shine their shoes, and sit up properly. But I tell you no lie. I should also mention he is very easy on the eyes.
I wanted to sit down with them to get a feel for what they think, to hear them voice how they felt their contribution to fashion would be. And how it would continue the wealth of those who have the honor of being invited to the tents.
So when you see the tents go up and you are blinded by the fabulousness or maybe you're the other sort of person who finds themselves annoyed by what you are not understanding, think back for a moment about all the greats that came before you. I guarantee you won't be so annoyed. In fact, you may embrace this world and try to become a part of it.
From the cars, the fashion, the cosmetics to the people it will all makes sense.
To quote Rihanna, you may just want to "shut up and drive."