AN AMBITIOUS plan to fly in the world's top models for a $10-million fashion show has been shelved because of lack of sponsorship. Supermodels Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Karen Mulder and Nadja Auermann were scheduled for the April 12 and 13 show at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. But Brian Catton, managing director of events marketing specialist Ken Catton Enterprises confirmed the show, which has been the talk of Hong Kong fashion and social circles for months, had been postponed until sponsorship was confirmed. Mr Catton and his staff visited 30 possible supporters and talked to another 20 who 'expressed an interest'. These included fashion houses, airlines, hotels and high-end luxury retailers. But tighter promotional budgets and the reluctance on the part of fashion houses to share the catwalk with rival companies has left the venture in the air. Mr Catton, in a deal with the Elite Model Management agency, has already received firm letters of intent from Evangelista, Campbell, Mulder and Auermann. But their reported US$200,000 fees (HK$1.54 million), plus costs of staging the extravaganza, proved prohibitively expensive. 'The idea was very well-received. The supermodel industry gets so much media space that we thought it was an excellent sponsorship vehicle for companies and, moreover, it was a show that was very appropriate for Hong Kong,' said Mr Catton. 'We started our sponsorship search in November, 1994, but left ourselves short of quality time to put together a show in a first-class way.' There is no new date for the show, although it has not been totally written off. 'I'm convinced that this is a really strong idea which has excellent potential to become one of Hong Kong's main annual events,' he said. Hong Kong is no stranger to supermodels. Two weeks ago, Italian star Carla Bruni was flown in to help celebrate Joyce Ma's induction into the Italian Hall of Fame. Last year, Kate Moss, the waif-like Briton made famous by her work with US designer Calvin Klein, was brought in by Gucci to help launch their latest collection. One French fashion house said money was not a problem, but complained the show needed a stronger reason for being. 'The show wasn't tied to anything,' said Angelina Bleach, general manager of Lanvin (HK) Ltd. 'It's not a question of money. People here have so much of it and are happy to spend it, but if it's linked to something charitable it helps to appease their guilt. 'The organisers would also have to do a show like this properly, so it's a first-class Hollywood-style production. I don't think Hong Kong is interested in just another fashion show.' Meanwhile, Hong Kong fashion could receive another blow this week if animal rights activists, as believed, stage a major anti-fur demonstration in the territory. It is understood members of the US-based organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) intend doing their best to ruin Tuesday's annual Hong Kong International Fur and Fashion Fair at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Last year, two PETA members shed all but their underwear, shouting, 'don't kill animals, don't wear fur', in Cantonese, to protest the Hong Kong Fur Federation's 1994 showing. The group has gained notoriety because of its ability to recruit some high-profile celebrities to its cause, including Campbell and fellow supermodels Cindy Crawford and Christy Turlington. But a spokesman for the Hong Kong Fur Federation, Tim Everest, told the Sunday Morning Post that security precautions had been taken. 'We will have more than adequate security measures for the venue,' he said, but declined to elaborate on specifics. 'If they want to strip off their clothes, good luck in the cold,' added Mr Everest. As the world's leading fur maker and exporter, the territory sold a total of $1.9 billion worth of fur products abroad in 1994. According to Mr Everest, the market enjoyed a five per cent increase last year over the previous year and he predicted demand in Russia and Korea would keep furriers optimistic about 1995.