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February 8, 2017: Why Fashion Week's Front Row Is Getting Smaller, Oscar Board President Speaks Out Against Trump's Travel Ban, New York Fashion Week Designers Are Choosing Unique Venues for Shows

1. WHY FASHION WEEK'S FRONT ROW IS GETTING SMALLER: Factors including decreasing budgets and overexposure have recently caused the front row at New York Fashion Week to become less of a sought-out viewing spot for A-list celebrities. The New York Times: "And now, on the eve of another round of New York shows, it seems safe to predict a similar thinning of celebrity ranks, as top film and music personalities disappear from their gilded front-row perches, their dwindling presence matched only, some say, by their diminishing impact. 'You can still expect to see certain celebrities in the front row,' said Tommy Hilfiger, who began trumpeting his alignment with entertainment world players as far back as the 1980s. But these days, Mr. Hilfiger suggested, designers and major Seventh Avenue brands need to rethink their marketing strategies. ... That paucity of A-list personalities is ascribed to a string of factors: celebrity overexposure, a generalized fashion fatigue and, chief among them, shrinking fashion budgets. Oversaturation has played a role. In recent years, invitations were issued, vetted and approved by teams of publicists, Hollywood agents, high-powered stylists and, as often as not, the stars themselves, many of whom are snapped each season hopscotching from show to show, their influence diluted by their ubiquity. 'We sort of cooked our golden goose'” said James LaForce, a veteran fashion publicist. 'At the end of the day, all their pictures seemed to run together.' 'We’re at the end of that cycle now,' he added. 'It feels old-fashioned, something from another era.'

2. OSCAR BOARD PRESIDENT SPEAKS OUT AGAINST TRUMP'S TRAVEL BAN: At the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences's 36th annual Oscar Nominees Luncheon on Monday, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs spoke out against President Donald Trump's travel ban. The Hollywood Reporter: "Boone Isaacs clearly was referencing, among others, Asghar Farhadi, the Iranian director of best foreign-language film nominee The Salesman, who has said he will boycott the Oscars ceremony on Feb. 26 because of President Donald Trump's travel ban, which he regards as 'unjust.' (The ban currently is on hold because of a temporary restraining order issued by U.S. District Court Judge James Robert in Seattle.) While Boone Isaacs did not mention Trump by name, she said, "Art has no borders." She continued, 'Strong societies don’t censor art, they celebrate it,' and added, 'Borders cannot be allowed to stop any of us,' drawing a big round of applause. The Academy president also acknowledged the efforts that the organization has made in the name of diversity and inclusion. 'Wow, what a difference a year makes,' she said, a reference to the fact that this year there are many more Oscar nominees of color, particularly in the acting categories, which had been branded #OscarsSoWhite during the past two years. 'Real progress has been made—progress that I am confident will continue in the future,' she asserted. 'When we reach out to be inclusive, we set an important example. We become agents of change.'"

3. NEW YORK FASHION WEEK DESIGNERS ARE CHOOSING UNIQUE VENUES FOR SHOWS: Designers hosting shows at New York Fashion Week are continuing to use out-of-the-box venues to house their runways. Alexander Wang's invite simply gave invitees a Manhattan intersection. Curbed: "Sleuths at Vogue and Harlem Bespoke agree that of the handful of venues in the area—including the improbable Key Food and Apollo Pharmacy—it’s the abandoned RKO Hamilton Theater where Wang will most likely be setting the scene. The historic building, opened in 1913, has sat unused for decades. The building’s exterior became a New York City landmark in 2000 meaning it remains relatively unchanged from its glory days as a vaudeville theater and one of New York’s first talking picture venues—but the interior, not so much. The building has fallen into various states of disrepair since it was closed as a theater in 1958. It’s since served as a sports arena, disco, and a church, and its lobby was transformed into retail space in 1995. … Suffice to say, the fashion elite have become more dexterous in their wont to venture outside of their areas of comfort. Magnetic names in the fashion arena have begun to stray from the big top tents of wherever Fashion Week is held now in favor of leveraging more interesting locations across New York City."


Business-to-business trade show and conference producer Emerald Expositions has named Eric Lisman executive vice president of corporate development.

Festival credential supplier ID&C has launched its inaugural Grass Roots Festival Bursary, which provides small to medium festivals with the opportunity to receive $2,500 worth of custom wristbands, passes, and lanyards.


AUSTIN:  South by Southwest, which runs March 10-19, has added actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, singer Kesha, actor Seth Rogen, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and U.S. senator Cory Booker to its lineup.

CHICAGO:  The International Live Events Association has announced a new global partnership with Ibtm Events, which is part of global exhibition organizer Reed Travel Exhibitions.

LAS VEGAS:  House of Diffa Las Vegas, in partnership with Neiman Marcus, will host a preview event for House of Diffa's inaugural fashion show on February 9 at Neiman Marcus. The fashion show will debut December 1.

LONDON:  Event technology company Glisser has hired Jamie Vaughan as chief commercial officer.

LOS ANGELES:  Content agency Contend has expanded with a new multimedia division called Contend Immersive. Co-run out of the company's Los Angeles office and a new office in Moscow, the new division will specialize in inverted reality, offering 3-D projection mapping, motion graphics, and more to create mulitsensory experiences.

Roc Nation will host a pre-Grammy brunch on Saturday.

Dream Hollywood, which is slated to open this spring, has named Mary Joy Ong-Newberry as director of finance, Angie Law as director of revenue management, and Kari Schlagheck as director of human resources.

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County's 11th annual gala will take place March 30. The event will feature performances by Rita Moreno and Vanessa Williams, and appearances from artists including Gloria Estefan and Chita Rivera.

Marriott Stanton South Beach has completed the first phase of its $15 million renovation with the opening of Mexican eatery Lolos Surf Cantina. Future renovation phases of the 224-room hotel will include a new spa, a new Japanese restaurant, and a rebrand of the existing DecoBlue restaurant.

NEW YORK:  This year's Acker Awards, which honor members of the avant garde arts community, will take place Sunday at Theater 80.

The 100th anniversary of the International Beauty Show will take place March 12-14 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The event will showcase more than 500 beauty brands.

Friends of the Upper East Side Historic District's 34th annual meeting and awards ceremony will take place March 27 at the Cosmopolitan Club.

The BookExpo Adult Book & Author Breakfast will take place June 1 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Speakers will include Stephen King and his son Owen King, and comedian Whitney Cummings.

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner:

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen & Bar opens Thursday for dinner. Weekend brunch will debut February 18 and lunch service begins March 7.

PORTLAND, OREGON:  The 10th annual Bridgetown Comedy Festival will take place May 4-7 at venues across the city. A pre-festival event headlined by Patton Oswalt will take place May 2 at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The Embassy Row Hotel, a Destination Hotel, has announced its Month of Romance campaign, which will feature a series of events including a Sadie Hawkins Silent Disco Dance Party on Saturday, an Embassy Row-mance Package for couples, and a pre-fix menu at Station Kitchen & Cocktails.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin and Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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