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After New York Fashion Week, Security and Civility Discussed

New York Fashion Week is officially a wrap, but the issue of security is one that still looms.

During the just-concluded New York Fashion Week, Chad Busto was arrested at the Ralph Lauren runway show in Brooklyn on Sept. 8, after reportedly demanding to see Emma Watson. The actress was not in attendance. Earlier in the day an associate of the actress Laura Linney was punched in the back of the head by an unidentified man. Fossil fuel protestors demonstrated outside of the main venue of NYFW downtown, and two animal rights protestors took to the runway at Coach on Sept. 7.

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Most designers on average spend $3,000 to $5,000 for security at a fashion show, according to Citadel Security co-owner Ty Yorio, who has worked at NYFW for decades. The norm is about six security guards for six-hour shifts, which amounts to about a $3,200 bill, he said. “That’s nothing. It costs them $250,000 to put the show on [an apparent reference to more established brands]. That’s the problem. They usually spend more money on flowers than for security. I’ve been competing with flowers for 35 years.”

That investment allows for coverage during the set-up, the show and the breakdown afterward. The investment also depends on the amount of celebrities a brand has in the audience. “Then they would need security specifically for the celebrities so they don’t get mobbed by the paparazzi,” Yorio said.

The 43-year-old Busto was arrested and charged with criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct. He was later issued a supervised release and is due back in court next month, according to a spokesperson for the Brooklyn district attorney’s office. In addition, the Southampton, N.Y., Police Department has a warrant for Busto, who was charged with stalking in the fourth degree last month in relation to Drew Barrymore.

Representatives at the Southampton Police Department and Ralph Lauren did not respond to requests for comment Friday. A spokesperson for Watson’s gin company Renais declined a request for comment, while spokespeople for Barrymore did not respond to ones seeking comment.

A spokesperson for PETA said the two supporters were not arrested following the Coach incident at the New York Public Library.

Yorio said, “People are becoming very aggressive. There is very little penalty, or any penalty, for interrupting, or for disturbing or inappropriate behavior. It’s become very pervasive all across society. It’s just not [happening] at fashion shows, concerts and in theaters.”

Citadel Security invested more in its on-site security personnel at NYFW shows and events at 50 Varick Street. Some were needed to keep anti-fossil fuel demonstrators on Varick Street in check. Yorio said it was the same group that disrupted a tennis match at the U.S. Open last week. A group called Extinction Rebellion claimed to be responsible for the protest.

Given these types of incidents, certain celebrities and politicians are choosing to keep a lower profile or fly private versus commercial. “Look at this nut who whacked somebody in the back of the head at the [Christian] Siriano show. There was no reason for that to happen,” said Yorio, whose team did not handle the event.

The New York City Police Depament was called to The Pierre hotel after the 28-year-old victim had been approached by an unknown individual in front of the hotel and “engaged the victim in confrontational behavior, causing alarm and annoyance,” an NYPD spokesperson said. Video footage posted on a media site showed a man with Linney, the actress, being punched in the back of the head. The individual then fled the location, according to the NYPD, and no injuries were reported. A harassment report was taken, according to an NYPD spokesperson.

A spokesperson at The Pierre said Friday that they did not have any information about the incident.

All in all, Yorio said people need “to act appropriately and to be civil. You want to shout out or do something, don’t do that. We’re all in this together. Why should I disturb you because I have a different feeling about something? Act accordingly.”

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