Equinox and SoulCycle have been facing threats of a boycott since word spread that Stephen Ross, billionaire chairman of the high-end fitness brands’ parent company, would host a Hamptons fundraiser for Donald Trump.
Now fashion brands are adding to the backlash against Ross, with label Rag & Bone joining Prabal Gurung in abandoning plans to stage its New York Fashion Week show at Hudson Yards, the expensive real-estate development and mall built by Ross’s Related Companies.
According to WWD (paywall), Rag & Bone had been confirmed to hold its show at The Shed, Hudson Yards’s arts space. The brand has now decided to work with another venue. Rag & Bone said it had no further comment when contacted.
Gurung announced last week that he was in talks to stage his own show at The Vessel, a large and somewhat reviled structure in Hudson Yards, then chose not to participate after hearing about Ross’s fundraiser.
7/10: My goal here is to start a dialogue and maybe, hopefully, change some minds.
I was previously in conversation with Hudson Yards’ The Vessel as the venue for my brand’s upcoming 10 year show during NYFW. When I heard about this fundraiser, I chose to pull my participation.
— Prabal Gurung (@prabalgurung) August 7, 2019
New York’s fashion industry, which leans heavily in support of Democrats, has railed against Trump’s racist and anti-immigrant rhetoric. Rumors have circulated for months that some of New York Fashion Week’s shows would be moving to Hudson Yards, but Ross’s fundraiser has drawn intense scrutiny from designers.
His connection to fashion isn’t just through his real-estate dealings. His wife, Kara, a jewelry designer holds a seat on the board of US fashion’s governing body, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). Not all CFDA members have been pleased, including Dana Lorenz, founder of Fallon Jewelry, who canceled her CFDA membership after the fundraiser over Kara Ross’s position on the board. “I do not feel her views speak for me as a member and I will not allow her to make decisions on my behalf,” Lorenz wrote in a letter posted to Instagram.
As for the future of fashion shows at Hudson Yards, the events and talent management company IMG is the owner and producer of New York Fashion Week: The Shows, which acts as the anchor for the event. The company has previously said (paywall) it will again host the shows at Spring Studios this February. It declined to say whether it had any plans to move future shows to The Shed.
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