iDEKO and Givenchy Collaborate for One September Night
To realize an artist’s vision is a difficult process: when an abstract thought must be
translated into the three-dimensional world, it often can be a trial marked by
disappoint for both artist and collaborator.
The fashion designer Riccardo Tisci had conceived an idea for the rollout of
Givenchy’s Spring-Summer line—one that would encapsulate Tisci’s love for New
York City. In addition to the runway models decked out in the upcoming line, there
would be music and a performance orchestrated by the artist Marina Abramovic.
When the idea was brought to the offices of iDEKO Corp. they accepted the
challenge without question. Despite its scope, iDEKO would be ready to help
make a flight of fancy into a working reality.
Space and Time
Scheduling Givenchy’s rollout on September 11 was purely coincidental—some
thought it possibly “tone deaf”. The date for the rollout may not have been
intentional, but the location was.
Pier 26, located on the lower west side in Tribeca, juts out into the Hudson River
and is part of the long stretch that is Hudson River Park. A few blocks northwest of
the crystalline height of the Freedom Tower, it once held a vantage point to view
the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Having the rollout occur on that day,
in that location figured greatly into keeping the show respectful and meaningful.
At the pier, the iDEKO’s production team would assemble steel cargo containers
that would act as the changing area and frame the runway for the models. Wooden
pallets would be stacked as part of the runway. These items would act as a visual
reminder of the harbor area’s history as a vital shipping hub. The containers would also act as a stage for the performers who would act out the story of immigrants,
while accompanied by a violinist.
Throughout the city, large video screens would be mounted along various avenues
and intersections, to let passersby watch the unfolding performance down at the
As the sun went down and an array of celebrities were seated, the performance
began. Overlooking the gathered throng was a performer on a ladder, another stood
holding two saplings. A man stood with a child, turning occasionally to gaze up at
the Freedom Tower. Accompanied by a violinist played “Shalom Aleichem
(translation: “Peace be with you”).” Below, lines of young women in light and dark
wispy fabrics stepped out along a pallet-filled runway.
Despite the evening’s hiccups of two models getting tripped up by the pallets, the
following day the critics were enthusiastic, making little to no mention of falling
“GIVENCHY’S SPECTACULAR 9/11 FASHION SHOW ACTUALLY WORKED,”
ran the exclamatory headline on Cathryn Horn’s website, The Cut. “The symbolism
was subtle and the clothes sensual.”
“[F]or those who were there to see if this could be one of those rare shows that
connects the dots between art, pop culture, industry, and reality,” wrote Alexandra
Ilyashov and Connie Wang for Refinery 29, “Givenchy also delivered. . . .”
The luminous spectacle of Givenchy’s rollout at Pier 26, in the shadow of the
Freedom Tower had made its impression. As other events for Fashion Week were
held across New York and other major cities across the world, the critics crowed
their enthusiasm over Givenchy’s event.
Tisci’s mission to showcase Givenchy’s latest offerings and be reverential to his
beloved city was a calculation whose success could only have come about through
careful, thoughtful collaboration. iDEKO Productions and IDEKOgov secured the
riverside view, erected the staging for the event, and placed the screens around the
city, transforming the event into a communal one. The planners at iDEKO didn’t shirk at helping a fashion designer, with his performance artist partner, to turn his
fashion showcase into a love letter to New York.