Macy's pulls plug on long-running Glamorama fashion show

The annual fashion show raised millions for Children’s Cancer Research Fund.

Updated 5/1/2015

Macy’s Glamorama, the Twin Cities’ largest, longest-running high-fashion event, is ending, the retailer said Friday.

The August fall fashion show ran for 23 years, most recently at the State Theatre, and featured A-list performers such as Bruno Mars, Jason DeRulo and Cirque du Soleil.

“We are really happy that is 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, but consumers’ high-low tastes for combining designer and couture with practical basics doomed the show.

A lack of attendance at the Minneapolis show was not a factor, as tickets to the event were near sellouts every year.

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?”

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.

The highlights at the annual show for its mostly female and gay male audience, Schwartz said, were the tanned, toned male models taking the stage clad only in underwear and the al fresco rooftop party after the show.

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, which includes additional discounts throughout the stores.

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