Heading into its fourth season, the downtown fashion lineup at MAC & Milk -- which once was simply a more affordable alternative to the IMG-organized tents uptown -- has become a fashion week force in its own right.
The rapidly expanding Meatpacking District venue based out of Milk Studios on 15th street will actually host a total of 91 shows all over the city -- including 20 at Lincoln Center -- along with a variety of corporate partnerships, panel discussions, a concert series, an editorial site called "Fashion Week Live!" and a satellite venue at the neighboring Standard Hotel.
The presentations at the Standard will be set against the spectacular views from the hotel's High Line Room, as part of "a community idea," Milk Studios creative director Mazdack Rassi told WWD.
MAC & Milk will also offer special packages to American Express cardholders, a fixture that most fashion folks have become accustomed to as a fixture in the AmEx Skybox at the uptown tents. Also new this sesaon, the MAC & Milk Fashion Pack app created in conjunction with Hipstamatic.
An editorial site presented by AOL StyleList, Fashion Week Live! provides an online home for the latest and greatest news coming out of the venue, including a panel discussion on the fashion industry in America and the IFB (Independent Fashion Bloggers) Evolving Influence Conference, with a keynote by Proenza Schouler's Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez.
It's no wonder, then, with all this growth, that rumors are flying about a possible collaboration between MAC & Milk and IMG going forward, as the latter presumably feels their downtown brethren creeping up on them. Both sides are mum on the topic, WWD reports, but with the amount of corporate sponsorships MAC & Milk is now attracting, the downtown lineup will be hard to keep separate for much longer.