fashion

NYFW designers reportedly pull out of Hudson Yards shows after Trump fundraiser controversy

Updated 16th August 2019
People walk by the new arts center The Shed on the Hudson Yards on April 03, 2019 in New York City. - The Sheds is a movable structure and will be the arts center designed exclusively to commission, produce, and present all types of performing arts, visual arts, and popular culture. (Photo by Kena Betancur / AFP)        (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
Credit: KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images
NYFW designers reportedly pull out of Hudson Yards shows after Trump fundraiser controversy
Written by Amy Woodyatt, CNN
Two fashion houses will reportedly move their New York Fashion Week shows from a venue linked to Stephen Ross, as a backlash grows following the billionaire's fundraising for President Donald Trump.
Rag & Bone is the second fashion brand to choose not to host its New York Fashion Week show in The Shed, Hudson Yards, fashion industry website WWD reported, after it emerged that billionaire real estate developer Stephen Ross -- whose firm Related Companies is behind the Manhattan development -- had hosted a fundraiser for President Donald Trump.
The fundraiser, where participants could pay $100,000 to have their picture taken with the US President, garnered widespread media attention and criticism. Calls were made for boycotts of Ross's associated businesses, including Equinox Fitness and associated businesses SoulCycle and Blink Fitness.
Several brands were reported to have planned shows at The Shed in Hudson Yards for New York Fashion Week, which starts on September 6. The Shed, while attached to Hudson Yards, is actually on city-owned land.
A Rag & Bone representative confirmed to CNN that it has no plans to show at The Shed.
The news follows an announcement by designer Prabal Gurung, who posted on Twitter that he would not be hosting his show in Hudson Yards following the news of the Trump fundraiser.
In his message, Gurung said Ross's decision to host a fundraiser for the President was "appalling," "shocking" and "an indication of their integrity & values."
"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," he posted.
The Related Companies' Hudson Yards development is under construction on 28 acres on the West Side of Manhattan. Described as the largest and most expensive real estate development in the nation, worth nearly $1 billion per acre, it is home to many high-profile tenants, including Warner Media, which owns CNN.
On Wednesday, The Shed published a statement saying it was "fully independent and not owned or controlled by any private or for-profit entity."
"The Shed does not endorse or take part in fundraising for political candidates, period," the statement read.
Equinox, the luxury gym chain in which Ross is an investor, is also distancing itself from the billionaire.
In an open letter sent to all its members, the executive chairman of Equinox, Harvey Spevak, apologized for the "impact it has had on our community." He called the past week a "difficult time" and addressed Ross's role in the company.
"Mr. Ross is not the majority investor in Equinox," wrote Spevak, who joined the company in 1999. "He is one of the investors including myself. He does not run the company. I do."
CNN's Jordan Valinsky, Chris Isidore and Brian Ries contributed to this report.