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Night to Remember: Fendi Fashion Show

8 2 2012

How did BG put on a Fendi fashion show on the fountain in the Grand Army Plaza?

In 1981, we did a show for Fendi furs at the Pulitzer Fountain, where we turned the fountain into a runway. There was a drought in New York that year, and the fountain wasn’t working. The city wasn’t in such great shape back then, and they didn’t want to have the water running.

It was an evening show, and we had amazing lights designed for the runway. We lined the tiers of the fountain with black Mylar, so that when we filled it with water and lit it, it would be this beautiful runway. On the day before the show, a five-thousand-gallon stainless-steel truck pulled up and spent most of the day filling the fountain. It looked beautiful.

The Fendi sisters were here, and we were doing fittings late into the evening. And just as we were finishing up, Carla Fendi decided we needed to turn on the lights so that she could see how the coats would look against the fountain. The furs were locked up at this point, so we had to call the head of operations to unlock the vault. So, at 11:30 at night, a few of us were out there, wearing the coats on the runway.

Everything looked great and we all went home after midnight.

The next morning, I was walking down Fifth Avenue and it looked like there was no water in it. I was so exhausted, I thought I was hallucinating. But as I got closer, I realized it was empty.

I got on the phone with the parks department to figure out what was going on. They forgot to put in the plugs. “Not to worry,” they said. “We will fill the fountain for you. Just don’t tell anyone where water came from.”

The fountain was filled, but then, of course, it started raining. I was calling weather stations around New York, demanding to know the forecast. The skies cleared just before the show started. The show was incredible, and we all made it up to the Goodmans’ apartment for a private dinner with the Fendis just before it started pouring again.

 - Mallory Andrews,
Senior vice president, sales promotions, marketing and publicity.


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