Recovered photos from the Fashion World Take Center Stage in Times Square
Everyone loves a good star sighting. During the nineteen eighties and nineties, New York City runway models became celebrities and those eager to sneak a peek at them would often ride the elevators of 1441 Broadway, formerly known as the Bracken Textile Building.
Of course, this was long before 9/11 would force tighter building enforcement and security measures. It was also years before the advent of the smartphone and digital photography; which is why the current photo exhibition, 10 Times Square: New York Fashion Rediscovered is so unique — and serendipitous.
The collection was shot by Japanese photographer Kishimitsu Hada and was compiled by his mother, the late fashion journalist Yuriko Tomita. In 2008, set designer Gaetane Bertol was walking along 14th and 9th avenue when she discovered dozens of boxes of 35mm slides. At a recent luncheon celebrating the show’s opening, Bertol described how it happened. “I had other bags with me, but I saw these slides and thought that I could put them to use. I had only intended to take a couple of boxes, but this very large, friendly taxi driver got out of the car to help. Before I knew it, he had packed over two dozen boxes in the trunk!” She was able to track down the owner only by discovering a receipt in one of the boxes but even then, google results were nil. Bertol finally found the owner and learned that a fire had ravished Tomita’s apartment. Bertol guarded the boxes before teaming with fashion historian Ya’ara Keydar and Tzili Charney, owner of 10 Times Square and founder of ZAZ10TS, a gallery open to the public at the base of this historic art deco structure.
In a recent press release, Charney said, “With the new exhibition, fashion comes full circle in returning to the Times Square District. Remnants of fashion past become part of the present, imparting a sense of history and culture in terms of what was known as the garment district of New York.”
Designers and models included in the exhibit read like a who’s who of fashion, many of whom continue to influence contemporary style: Anna Sui, Donna Karan, Liz Claiborne, Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Perry Ellis, Isaac Mizrahi, Alber Elbaz, Anne Klein, Geoffrey Beene, Rebecca Moses, BCBG Max Azria, Linda Allard for Ellen Tracy, Adrienne Vittadini, and Gemma Kahng, Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Helena Christensen and Kristen McMenamy. Keydar selected photos that would fit the color scheme of the lobby’s marble.
Bertol’s work, inspired by her design (along with David Rockwell) on the Broadway hit show, Kinky Boots, will also be on display. It will include a scale model of the stage set.
The free public event recently opened to coincide with Fashion Week. It will run through January 20, 2020. For more information, visit zaz10ts.com/nyfashionrediscovered