Although organizers of Aspen Fashion Week scheduled dates for March 2013, the event has been canceled, according to a spokesperson.
In August, the Aspen Fashion Week website posted a “save the date” item, listing March 10-13 as the days for the event’s fifth go-round. However, a spokesperson for the event said via email last week that it is not happening this year. Ali Paul of Paul and Williams, a New York- and Los Angeles-based public relations firm that has worked on Aspen Fashion Week in the past, referred questions to the event’s founder and organizer Lisa Johnson.
Johnson could not be reached for comment, and an auto-reply on her email said she is on maternity leave “with very limited availability.”
Other than the save the date listing for March 2013, the fashion week website does not appear to have been updated since the 2012 event. It offers no way to purchase tickets for this year, and no further details about fashion week 2013 are available on the website.
Craig Cordts-Pearce, owner of CP Burger and other local restaurants, has worked with fashion week in the past because the event set up a runway on the Silver Circle Ice Rink outside the restaurant. He said he has not had any contact with Johnson about a 2013 event.
“Honestly I have not heard anything at all,” Cordts-Pearce said.
Aspen City Clerk Kathryn Koch said fashion week has not applied for a city special events permit, but she added that it did not need one last year, since all of its happenings were on private property. Koch said that occasionally people call the clerk’s office hoping for help in tracking down Johnson, claiming they are owed money.
Aspen Fashion Week has been the subject of multiple small claims lawsuits from vendors who allege they have not been paid for their work.
The city of Aspen gave the event $15,000 in public financing in 2010, as part of a program designed to add more special events to the town’s calendar. Johnson initially asked the city for $50,000 to subsidize the 2011 event, but withdrew the request, citing adequate private funding. The event expanded last year with more designer brands and parties.
The event drew a fashion-industry crowd, including designers, buyers, writers and models. Its showcase event was a daily outdoor fashion show that was first in gondola plaza and then at the ice rink, where the champagne would flow while models took to the catwalk showing off next winter’s trendy ski wear.