One might not normally associate flamboyant New York fashion week with the less glamorous world of real estate, but as flash bulbs and a red carpet were rolled out for the MNS Fashion Night Out event last night, the pairing of the two megabucks industries did not seem so strange.
Real estate executives, brokers and clients came out in force for a special runway show featuring couture designs by Ali Taghavi, at MNS’ new Chelsea office at 189 Eighth Avenue, between 19th and 20th streets, which was decked out in red, white and black balloons — the colors of the MNS brand. The crowd, characterized by pretty female execs in stilettos and short hems, spilled out onto the street as servers handed out hors d’oeuvres and prosecco wine and passersby stalled to see what the fuss was about.
Ali Taghavi, a fashion and jewelry designer whose work has previously been featured as part of Fashion’s Night Out but not in association with a brokerage, last night showcased clothing collections based on Manhattan neighborhoods — from ladies who lunch on the Upper East Side to career females working in Midtown. The MNS fashion show featured business ensembles and ball gowns — a design for every occasion.
“These days, architecture is very fashionable, there are always new buildings going up,” Taghavi told The Real Deal this morning, reflecting on the success of the event. “There’s certainly a parallel with the fashion world. Everyone’s trying different features, coming up with interesting fabrics, trying to make itself stand out and be different.”
The designer and the brokerage both share a similar clientele, Taghavi, who paired up with the brokerage after a friend who worked there recommended him, noted. “The women there would be attracted to my clothes,” he said.
For MNS, the event presented an opportunity to solidify its newly-established brand, CEO Andrew Barrocas said. As The Real Deal previously reported, the company that resulted from the merger of the Developers Group (TDG) and the Real Estate Group New York (TREGNY) has been known by the somewhat cumbersome TDG/TREGNY, but was simplified in May to MNS.
“We’re definitely a new generation of real estate,” Barrocas said. “And we’re in a downtown area — Chelsea — which is obviously very fashionable… It’s important for us to stay consistent with our branding — young, hip, cool — we’re targeting an audience of 25 to 45-year-olds.”
The event was a massive success, he said. “I felt it was a good way to go into the fall season and really kick it off.”