An extraordinary collection of 1980s-1990s fashion slides found on a New York City sidewalk makes its way back to the Fashion District in a new photographic exhibition 10 Times Square: New York Fashion Rediscovered 1982-1997. Presented in the lobby gallery at 10 Times Square, also known as 1441 Broadway, former home to some of the most prominent designers in New York, the exhibition features captivating runway images of top fashion designers and supermodels from the 1980s and 1990s. The free public exhibition opens today, September 5th, to coincide with New York Fashion Week and will run through January 20, 2020.
The collection — a true treasure trove containing thousands of 35mm slides — was shot by Japanese photographer Kishimitsu Hada, and meticulously compiled by his mother, the late fashion journalist Yuriko Tomita. After a fire in Tomita’s apartment in 2008, dozens of boxes housing her professional archives ended up on the sidewalk. In a stroke of good luck, set designer Gaetane Bertol passed by and recognized the value of the contents of the boxes, rescued them, and guarded them until she was able to locate the owner. A decade later, curator and fashion historian Ya’ara Keydar worked to create this exhibit of photographs at ZAZ10TS — a gallery conceived by Tzili Charney in 10 Times Square. Through these fortuitous connections, this exhibition reunites the designers featured in the photographs with their one-time workplace.
10 Times Square: New York Fashion Rediscovered 1982-1997 illustrates one of the brightest times in the history of New York fashion. Rapid economic growth in the 1980s ushered in an era of enthusiasm that revolutionized the fashion industry. Designers began creating high-quality day and eveningwear, in a more wearable style. Jeans and sportswear abounded, as well as — for the growing presence of women in the workforce — power-dressing with tailored suits and striking silhouettes. Fashion designers and supermodels achieved celebrity status, and finales became the most anticipated part of any runway show. The exciting and colorful finale celebrations of designers who worked in the building between 1982 and 1997, arm in arm with the leading supermodels of the time, are preserved in the joy-filled photographs in this collection.
The fashion stars featured in the photographs include designers 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, and models Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Helena Christensen and Kristen McMenamy.
“With the new exhibition, fashion comes full circle in returning to the Times Square district,” said Charney. “Remnants of fashion past become part of the present, imparting a sense of history and culture in terms of what once was known as the garment district of New York.”
“These golden moments evoke a time just before the digital camera, smartphones, live streaming, fast fashion, and the transition from domestic to offshore garment manufacturing,” added Keydar. “Fashion is an ever-changing industry. This exhibition is an invitation to pause and reflect on fashion through spontaneous moments of larger-than-life, unretouched beauty — and absolute fun.”