WITH less than three weeks to go before Manchester Fashion Week 2013, the National Football Museum has pulled out as the host venue and orginal sponsors Boohoo.com are no longer sponsoring the five day fashion event.
However, Manchester Fashion Week organisers insist the show must go on.
"Manchester Fashion Week will still go ahead and we are already talking to venues and looking at alternative dates."
A spokesperson for the museum said: "Manchester Fashion Week 2013 will no longer be taking place at the National Football Museum on 22-26 April as planned.
“The Museum has been working in cooperation with Manchester Fashion Week to find a solution to enable the event to proceed, but unfortunately the organisers have been unable to meet the Museum's terms and conditions.
“The National Football Museum is a registered charity and must act in the best interests of its trustees and stakeholders on all occasions."
It is believed several missed payments have resulted in the decision. Unfortunately it’s not the first time financial turmoil has taken precedence over fashion where Manchester Fashion Week is concerned.
Recent news reports alleged how organisers and sponsors from the 2012 event are yet to receive payments owed, with the alleged unpaid costs totalling in excess of £20,000. A number of suppliers have also reportedly been told they will be paid from profits made from this year’s event instead.
Financial difficulties are part of a number of problems plaguing Manchester Fashion Week. Several Manchester based bloggers and members of the press were less than impressed that the 2012 event was one based on the high street retailers, rather than smaller, independent and local labels.
Whilst using the city’s name, last year’s event was also scrutinised for failing to deliver more than a handful of designers based in or with strong links to Manchester itself.
As popular Manchester fashion blogger Jordan McDowell of Fashion Rambler stated in his summary of last year’s MCRFW: "Calling it Manchester Fashion Week makes it sound as though it's very Manchester. This was a responsibility it need not have had. Go, do your fashionable thing and call it something else and everyone will leave you alone."
However Manchester Fashion Week organisers are adamant a new venue will be annouced soon.
In a statement released on Friday 5 April, a spokesperson for Manchester Fashion Week said: "We would like to announce that due to circumstances beyond our control Manchester Fashion Week 2013 will no longer be taking place at the National Football Museum on 22-26 April.
"Manchester Fashion Week will still go ahead and we are already talking to venues and looking at alternative dates.
"We want to assure you that this city will have a fabulous fashion event this year and we are excited about all of the brands we are working with along with the independants.
"Our Vauxhall Fashion Foundation Search for New Talent will continue during this time along with our work with Manchester’s schools and colleges.
"If you have already purchased show tickets you can be assured we will transfer these to the new dates or issue you a full refund.
Thank you for your continued support in Manchester Fashion Week and we look forward to bringing you more news very soon."
Earlier this week, ahead of the news of the National Football Museum pulling out, Confidential spoke to Manchester Fashion Week’s Head of Fashion, Kirsty Atwood to address last year’s event failures and look to this year’s much-anticipated event.
Kirsty said: “We've taken a look at last year’s event and those that attended, and we’ve gone through it point by point and looked at how to change this. Last year has given us a foundation which we can build on.”
In addition to new brands, this year Manchester Fashion Week is due to introduce the Vauxhall New Talent Search competition to give six finalists the opportunity to show their work free of charge before being judged by a panel of industry figures.
Work is also scheduled to be showcased from a number of the city’s fashion students including the universities and Whalley Range High School for Girls.
The five day event still aims to host over 30 shows with 20 exhibitors taking to its catwalk, ranging from the high street to the high end, including Rio Ferdinand debuting his #5 line, and Made In Chelsea star Jamie Laing displaying his Candy Kittens S/S 13 collection.
Kirsty said: “With the support we’ve got behind us, with the brands we’ve got behind us, with the sponsors we’ve got behind us, I think that it’s just a case of watch this space.”