c.2013 New York Times News Service

c.2013 New York Times News Service

NEW YORK — For much of the fashion flock, the announcement that Marc Jacobs was shifting his New York Fashion Week show this week from Monday to Thursday night was not welcome news. It meant it would be impossible for many attendees to make it to England in time for the start of London Fashion Week the next morning.

But for others, it was an unexpected gift: They could now go to the men’s final of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, with its scheduled start time at around 5 p.m. Monday. Anna Wintour, the Vogue editor and perhaps the fashion world’s best-known tennis fan, was certainly going to be there, and offered encouragement to others who weren’t sure they would be able to make it.

“You have to go,” she told one fellow attendee at the Tommy Hilfiger show on Monday morning. “Donna Karan should be over by around 4:30, so you’ll be able to get out in time to catch most of the first set.”

Wintour certainly managed to get in some crucial tennis-watching last weekend (catching the thrilling five-set semifinal between Novak Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka on Saturday and then Serena Williams’ dramatic three-set win against Victoria Azarenka in Sunday’s final) even if it meant giving up her front-row perch at the Alexander Wang and Diane von Furstenberg shows. And during the Rag & Bone show on Friday afternoon, which took place during the women’s semifinal between Williams and Li Na, Wintour could be seen checking her iPhone for updates, at one point turning to her seat mate, the NBA star Russell Westbrook, to tell him that Williams had just taken the first set, 6-0.

And, as Wintour had predicted, several attendees at the Donna Karan show seemed to be angling for a position nearer the exit (herself included) as match time for the men’s final neared and Karan took her bow.

Less than an hour later, halfway through the tight first set, Wintour was in a box seat. Nearby, Ralph Lauren had settled in next to his wife, Ricky. Sean Connery was just a row below. On the suite level, hosted by various brands, actresses Amanda Seyfried and Jessica Alba, and models Toni Garrn (who later met up with her boyfriend, Leonardo DiCaprio) and Karolina Kurkova tightly gripped their gold Moët & Chandon goblets during a 54-shot rally. Elle’s fashion news director, Anne Slowey, had also beaten traffic to make it before the second set. In a suite hosted by Heineken, David Beckham was running solo. Overall, the glamour quotient easily bested any front row all week.

Each September, New York Fashion Week competes mostly with the last grand slam of the year, butting heads like loving but too-close cousins. At the Tommy Hilfiger show, Stefano Tonchi, W’s editor in chief and an avid tennis fan, said, “Many times, I wished the Open was at a different time.”

He said he wasn’t able to attend the men’s final because he was giving a party for the magazine and a new book at night. But he had carved out a few hours (i.e., skipped a couple of shows) to attend the men’s semifinals on Saturday.

Logistics can be a challenge. “Should I skip the 7 p.m. show of a designer who may or may not be the next big thing or drive out to Queens and watch Serena Williams?” asked Bryan Boye , the executive fashion director of Men’s Health. “It makes me crazy.”

He’s obviously not the only one.