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Cuomo clears New York Fashion Week this fall, but the runways will be outside or without an audience

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday New York Fashion Week can return in September, but the runways will be subject to numerous safety measures to protect against the coronavirus, including holding shows outside or without an audience.

The annual fashion show will be allowed to host the world’s top designers as scheduled for Sept. 13 to 17, but even outdoor audiences will be capped at 50 people, Cuomo said. No spectators will be allowed for indoor runway shows, which will also be limited to 50% capacity, he said.

This year’s NYFW will also feature more virtual events, including “live-streamed runway shows, exclusive designer-related content and cultural programming,” according to a press release.

“The past six months have been exceedingly difficult for the fashion industry, and we are proud to offer an avenue for designers, models, stylists, hair and makeup artists, photographers, production teams — and the innumerable other professionals who work in, or adjacent to, the fashion industry during New York Fashion Week — to safely get back to work this September,” Leslie Russo, executive vice president of IMG’s Fashion Events Group, said in a statement.

NYFW has become a major revenue source for New York City in the past, generating nearly $900 million each year and more than $500 million in tourist spending, according to previous estimates. While this year’s event will see less people, it’s another example of New York gradually reopening after taming the coronavirus’ spread for weeks.

New York City, once considered the nation’s Covid-19 epicenter, has recently allowed gyms and museums to reopen with limited capacity and sporting events, including the U.S. Open tennis tournament scheduled to begin next week, to return with no spectators.

“When Covid-19 hit New York, so many of our cherished events were forced to cancel or be postponed. The pandemic is far from over, but we’re proud to support event organizer IMG in moving forward with NYFW, in adherence with strict state public health guidance,” Cuomo said in a press release.

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