In 1999, the Fashion Center BID brought together a distinguished group of fashion editors, retailers, historians and museum curators to create the Fashion Walk of Fame, the first and only permanent landmark that pays tribute to American fashion.
Over the course of the three year project, 24 notable New York designers were given this honor and decorative plaques honoring these designers are embedded in the sidewalks along the East Side of Seventh “Fashion” Avenue from 41st Street to 35th Street. Each plaque displays an original sketch by the designer, a brief description of the designer’s contribution to fashion and the designer’s signature.
This year only one living and one deceased designer will be chosen. From a ballot of 35 candidates, 145 industry professionals will vote to determine the 2008 honorees.
The Fashion Center BID will host a star-studded Induction Ceremony in early 2008, during which the plaques will be unveiled and the Fashion District community will pay tribute to the designer honorees.
The Selections Committee determined the criteria for nomination as follows:
• The designer must be an American designer with a showroom in New York, or clearly be identified as a New York designer;
• The designer must have been in his/her own business for a minimum of 10 years;
• The designer must have been a moving force in the industry, have made a powerful impact on fashion through innovative design or use of materials, or have significantly changed the way in which America dresses.
Diane Von Furstenberg
To oversee the selection process for induction, The Fashion Center BID established a Fashion Walk of Fame Selections Committee as follows: Valerie Steele, Chairperson; Nichole Fischelis; Harold Koda; Kim Hastreiter; Marylou Luther; Phyllis Magidson; Patricia Mears; Lavelle Olexa; Sally Singer.
To ensure the utmost integrity in the final selection of inductees, ballots have been sent to 145 fashion industry business leaders, historians, archivists and curators.
Past inductees include:
• 2000 – Geoffrey Beene, Bill Blass, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren. Halston, Rudi Gernreich, Claire McCardell, Norman Norell
• 2001 – Oscar Del La Renta, James Galanos, Donna Karan, Pauline Trigére, Bonnie Kashan, Giorgio Di Sant’ Angelo, Charles James, Anne Klein
• 2002 – Stephen Burrows, Marc Jacobs, Betsey Johnson, Norma Kamali, Lilly Daché, Perry Ellis, Mainbocher, Willi Smith
The winners will be announced in early 2008.
The Fashion Center Business Improvement District (www.fashioncenter.com), a not-for-profit corporation, was established in 1993 to improve the quality of life and economic vitality of Manhattan’s Fashion District. Through programs in the areas of streetscape improvements, sanitation and public safety services, marketing and promotions, economic development, and community service, efforts are aimed at promoting the district as a strategic midtown business location and ensuring New York's position as the fashion capital of the world.