Jimmy the Tent Guy: Fashion Week’s Hidden Hero

There are a lot of major players during Fashion Week: the models, the designers, the front-row celebrities, the editors, the bloggers, the PR girls who run around in sky-high heels and clipboards flipping out every five minutes. But the Wall Street Journal chronicles one fashion week mainstay who you might not have heard of: Jimmy the Tent Guy. The tents are an iconic part of Fashion Week, and with this year’s move from Bryant Park to Lincoln Center it’s even more important that the tents look and feel the same. Jimmy Parks is the man responsible for making sure the tents get up and stay up. And this year there was an extra level of difficulty, as New York got crazy amounts of snow and ice in the last few weeks. So who is the guy responsible for the mechanics of fashion shows?

In town from Orlando, Fla., Parks is something of a fashion mercenary. He works in the Florida office of Karl’s Event Services, the tenting vendor, and travels north with 15 guys twice a year for Fashion Week. They stay at the Holiday Inn in Midtown.

Parks, 38, has a beard, wears Carhartt clothes and looks like the kind of guy who could build anything. Fashion Week is by far his biggest and most extravagant job of the year. It is so massive in scale and complex in detail that he uses it as a training ground for tent-constructing newbies.

The full story is here.

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