Macy's Glamorama, the Twin Cities' largest, longest-running high-fashion event, is over, the retailer said Friday.
The fashion show happened in August for 23 years at the State Theatre in Minneapolis and featured such A-list performers as Bruno Mars, Jason DeRulo and Cirque du Soleil.
"We are really happy that it was around for as long as it was," said Andrea Schwartz, vice president of media relations for Macy's north central region.
The women's and men's designer fashion show outlasted Dayton Hudson, May and Federated-owned department stores. Consumers' tastes for combining designer and couture items with inexpensive basics ultimately spelled trouble for the extravagant show. Attendance was not a factor.
"We filled nearly every one of the 2,000 seats in the State every year," said Natalie Bushaw, a former Macy's spokeswoman who worked on Glamorama for 10 years. Ticket prices for last year's event ranged from $75 to $1,000.
Bushaw said the show started out with such mainstream lines as Liz Claiborne but gradually amped up to couture from Moschino, Issey Miyake and Prada.
"You couldn't find a party like it anywhere in town," she said. "It was the fashion event in the Twin Cities for people who shopped the Oval Room or aspired to."
As fewer shoppers found their way into department stores and their Oval Room equivalents, the show's future was in doubt. Gwen Leeds, a local fashion stylist, wasn't surprised by the news.
"Glamorama was a big expense with the clothes, food, entertainment and production values," she said. "How much can you donate when so much of it goes to support production costs?"
While Macy's and its predecessors never disclosed the tab for the event, at least 40 models would be flown in for the show, and six semitrailer trucks transported the show to other cities.
Shows in Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles will also be dropped, although in-store fashion events will occur in Macy's five flagship stores and 20 additional markets, Schwartz said.
Each year was a different theme and brought in new celebrities. There was "Las Vegas" with Wayne Newton, "Country" with Big & Rich, and "Hollywood Glamour" with Brooke Shields.
Two annual highlights for the largely female and gay male audience: tanned, toned male models, particularly when they took the stage clad only in underwear, and the rooftop party afterward.
"Every year we transformed the rooftop so no one would ever know it was the top of a parking ramp," Bushaw said.
The show raised $5.5 million for Children's Cancer Research Fund in 23 years, but the charity will still be supported through sales of $10 Macy's Glam Pass, a discount incentive for customers.
Although the event was not among the fund's biggest sources of support, the amount raised was "not insignificant at all," said Jim Leighton, vice president of events and partnerships.
"Their funding was instrumental in how the University of Minnesota has revolutionized the way cancer is treated," he said.