The French capital’s prêt-à-porter week may be a magnet for snootydesigners and buyers with wallets the size of Vuitton trunks. Butcities with less history as hubs of couture have tried lately to grab some glamourby staging their own fashion weeks. In March alone, there will bedozens, including Dubai; Mumbai; Delhi; Kiev; Toronto; Miami; Montreal;Melbourne; Aspen, Colorado; Charleston, South Carolina; Palm Desert,California; and Dunedin (that’s the second-largest city on the SouthIsland of New Zealand). Fashionistas bound to the traditionalNYC-Paris-Milan catwalk circuit may sneer, but the shows highlightlocal talent, raise designers’ regional profiles, and “boost the localeconomy,” says Valerie Steele, director of the Fashion Institute ofTechnology museum in New York. “They also add to a city’s culturalidentity, because fashion is seen as art — as well as a business.” — Theunis Bates
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