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This Year's Model

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New York -- While models preview the latest in fashionwear during New York's Fashion Week, Sept. 7-14, title sponsor Mercedes-Benz USA is displaying its 2002 auto wares inside the main tent at Bryant Park. New car models will be rotated throughout the week as the company seeks to connect with young, professional, lifestyle-oriented consumers.

David Schembri, MBUSA vp-marketing, said the mega event is part of Mercedes' new marketing efforts, which also include sports and entertainment sponsorships. "Fashion Week is a good umbrella for us," he said. "Fashion and luxury automobiles appeal to people with a strong sense of style. There's a lot of emotion surrounding a fashion or automobile purchase and the people involved tend to be very individualistic."

Mercedes is touting the connection in media covering the event, including E!, Style Network and special sections in The New York Times and Harpers Bazaar.

This Friday, the luxury auto maker hosts Mercedes-Benz Rocks the Runway, an invitation-only event targeting its C-Class Coupe customer. Mercedes is exploring the possibility of rolling out the concept to several cities in 2002.

During October Breast Cancer Awareness Month, MBUSA partners with Saks Fifth Avenue in a program to benefit the Council of Fashion Designers Association's initiative to support breast cancer organizations, and will also underwrite special nationwide shopping events at Saks Oct. 18-21, with proceeds aiding local breast cancer groups.