Sep 4, 2007
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Young designers aim high at New York fashion week

Sep 4, 2007

NEW YORK, Sept 4, 2007 (AFP) - Young designers hoping to elbow their way to the top will get their chance to shine during New York's fashion week, with the spring-summer 2008 collections set to be unveiled here.

People walk past the sixth avenue entrance to the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week tents in Bryant Park in New York City - Photo : Mat Szwajkos/AFP

This fall's fashion week coincides with professional tennis' US Open tournament, and has already given tennis stars and fashionistas food for thought.

World number one Roger Federer was the guest of honor at a dinner hosted by Vogue magazine's, Anna Wintour, said to be the inspiration for the tyrannical editor played by Meryl Streep in the film "The Devil Wears Prada."

The hunky 26-year-old Swiss star, who is battling for a 12th Grand Slam title and fourth US Open crown in a row, was seen in another light earlier this year when he posed for the cover of Men's Vogue.

And the normally cool Wintour's interest in Federer, to whom she has apparently given some fashion tips, have already set websites buzzing ahead of Wednesday's official opening of fashion week.

More than 80 designers are gathering in the Big Apple with dozens of tents erected in Bryant Park in the shadows of the city's sky-scrapers for the occasion.

But besides being a showcase for established industry heavyweights like Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta and Michael Kors, fashion week is increasingly a battle ground for young designers.

Among them will be rising stars such as New York's own Zac Posen, the flamboyant Brazilian designer Alexandre Herchcovitch, and L.A.M.B, the label launched by the singer Gwen Stefani.

"New York is a bit more sportswear-oriented," said young American designer Christian Stroble, 27, who will be showing here for the first time, adding that the Paris shows were "more abstract, more avant-garde."

Young models will also be hoping that New York fashion week will prove their runway to success.

Among those to watch are the wide-eyed, 16-year-old, Tanya Dziakhileva, from Minsk in Belarus, and Theodora Richards, the daughter of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards.

The meeting and greeting was due to start in earnest Tuesday with a series of star-studded dinners, including one hosted by Diane Von Furstenberg with Sudanese model Alek Wek, who recently released her autobiography "Alek" chronicling her rise from a refugee in Britain to a catwalk supermodel.

Watchmaker Jaeger Lecoultre is holding an auction during the evening with the donations to be sent to Doctors Without Borders.

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