Monday, May 3, 2010

Fern Mallis says "Good-Bye" to IMG

By Laura Medina

The woman who ignited NY Fashion Week, India Fashion, and briefly, LA Fashion Week, Fern Mallis.

The kind folks at "The Daily," IMG's very own fashion magazine told this hurried scribe the sadden and sudden but understandable departure of the one of the fashion industry's most powerful movers and shakers-Fern Mallis.

Before Kelly Cutrone helmed London Fashion Week and many others started their own fashion weeks in other cities and their hometowns, there was Ms. Mallis igniting a city or a country that she deemed worthy of having a healthy fashion industry with a top-tiered fashion week good enough for national and international attention then setting the trail and the standard that many have tried to replicate to this day.

As IMG's Senior Vice President, Mallis is directly responsible for the founding of New York's Fashion Week, which she conceived and executed during her tenure as executive director of the CFDA. She made what NY Fashion Week is, one of the world's fashion capitals, especially America's premiere fashion capital when nobody said it can't be done and she made it happen, proving them wrong.

She wasn't a model in a traditional sense but of a professional model- tough, relentless, sharp, smart, and wise,-that many young ladies and gentlemen wish to emulate as fashion professionals.

As a fashion and graphic design and marketing pupil lucky enough to get a standing or an open ticket, this student would watch her classmates bite and scratch to be Ms. Mallis' right-hand assistant, hoping her diligence and intelligence and obviously, her connections will rub off on them, like pixie dust-the high-powered stuff.

Actually, it was kind of enjoyable watching my classmates marching in synch, trailing Ms. Mallis like ants, catering to each and every of her whims as she barks orders in order to manage the chaos that becomes NY and LA Fashion Weeks.

It was her tenacity, focus, and drive that built the standard that many fashion show promoters strive for if they want professional respectability to this day.

After setting the mold in so many sites, cities, and countries, then to top it off as a judge on Bravo's "The Fashion Show," she was ready to make the next step, forming her own consulting and advisory firm, Fern Mallis LLC. In a clever but easy move, she signed IMG Fashion as her first client.

“I am ready to be starting my own company and look forward to advising and consulting on a wide variety of style, fashion, media and lifestyle programs, initiatives and branding strategies in the US and around the world,” Mallis said. “It’s time for me to participate in the exciting world outside ‘the tents’."

The folks at IMG's very own fashion magazine, "The Daily" were sadden by her departure but they understood she did what she did and this is just a next stage in her influential life.

..."We never would have existed without my initial meeting with Fern," said Brandusa Niro, senior vice president of IMG Publishing. "I shared my thoughts about a fashion week publication with her, and she immediately went to bat for it. We wish her nothing but the best in her myriad projects, and we can't wait to see how her passions will play out next."

Fern, we'll miss you in the lobby.

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