With the words of a popular television series character, “Remember to trot, trot with caution and don’t become ‘fashion roadkill,’” in mind, a Manhattan flooring contractor recently stumbled upon an opportunity to help Dur-A-Flex seamless, resinous flooring make its fashion debut…and find a new niche for his contracting business at the same time!
“I was approached by EYESIGHT Fashion & Luxury Events to design a runway at New York’s Hotel Pennsylvania for Fashion Week,” said Matthew Koerner, Manhattan Concrete Design Company’s president. “They needed 6,000 square feet [557 m²] of runway to be constructed within a tight timeframe. And, it needed to look amazing and be safe enough to walk on.” Imagine high heels, artistic palettes, and an infamous audience, and you have the potential for a high-visibility floor disaster. Read on to find out how this seasoned coatings applicator helped make a few famous faces happy.
With a global audience surely counting down the days to this highly anticipated week of clothing collections for spring/summer 2014, Koerner was well aware that being fashionably late would be unacceptable. Add to that fashion designer Victoria Beckham was slated to debut her collection to the world using this very runway on the first day of the show. Fashion faux pas were not an option.
Koerner decided on Dur-A-Flex’s epoxy-based system, DUR-A-GARD SL, for a few specific details: it handles substrate flexing, cures with a glossy, smooth surface, and has a gritty enough finish for even the highest of heels.
“This Dur-A-Flex system installed by Manhattan Concrete easily addressed the substrate flexing concern and, with a bright white color selection, an attractive, glossy finish that was runway-worthy was easily achieved,” said Peter Leiser, senior regional sales manager for Dur-A-Flex, Inc.
Another benefit of this flooring solution was that Koerner and his nine-person crew were able to install it directly on top of the hotel’s original floor and remove it after the show. In fact, no surface prep was allowed on this project. Quite the unusual outfit indeed!
Like any other event-driven project, this floor coating also included a time crunch. The Manhattan Concrete crew had exactly three days to complete everything…or the floor would be unfinished during New York’s Fashion Week. Koerner understood the pressure, as he succinctly explained that, “they cannot reschedule Victoria Beckham’s fashion show.” And so they got right to it.
The first step: “We covered the existing floor with adhesive plastic, leaving no air bubbles,” explained Koerner. On top of that, they rolled out a fiberglass reinforcement mat before pouring on CMP 210, which is a self-leveling underlayment. Next, wearing 3M respirators, safety glasses, shoe covers, and gloves, the crew squeegeed on a single 100-mil (2,540 microns) coat of DUR-A-GUARD SL100 percent epoxy in white followed by a single 3-mil (76 microns) coat of ARMOR-TOP, also in white.
Because the runway was located in an active hotel, the crew had to be mindful of the noises and smells that could potentially disturb the occupants. And they had to make sure that the floor was flawless. “The finished floor had no cracks, bumps, or flaws; it was perfect for the show,” Koerner said. And, “It can now be removed after the show, leaving no trace.”
On Sunday, September 8, 2013, with husband David Beckham and Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour looking on, following the effortless walks by supermodels showing off Victoria Beckham’s collection, the fashion mogul herself made a flawless stride from the beginning of the runway to the end to thundering applause. And she seemed to have zero regard for caution thanks to Manhattan Concrete Design Company and their spotless floor.
“Although it will be removed after the show and maybe a party or two, it was a great opportunity to show the diversity of Dur-A-Flex’s flooring systems and give us a chance to diversify our project portfolio,” concluded Leiser. As for Koerner, this project was a feather in his cap, as not only did he hear that the client was extremely happy with the end result but Manhattan Concrete Design also received another runway project for Mrs. Beckham. It seems that this floor proved to be the perfect backdrop to showcase a walking work of art.
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