A more international and global fashion week: Tom Ford, new CFDA president, plans the New York revolution

From January 1st, 2020 fa new era will start for CFDA, the Council of American Fashion Designers (the US Chamber of Fashion). After 13 years under the guidance of Diane von Fürstenberg, the presidency will pass on to Tom Ford, who will be operating in the new role as early as June. So far the news, with lots of enthusiastic statements from all the main players in the association. But – all the people in the industry know it – Ford’s CFDA will not be a simple change. At stake is the ability or not to be able to revitalise New York fashion week, in full crisis of identity and positioning. So much so that, on the occasion of the last round of fashion shows in February, some have hypothesised the possibility of its cancellation starting from 2020.

There is still a lot of reserve on the first real steps of his mandate, but in a hot interview on Business Of Fashion, the designer immediately expressed his desire to give a more international perspective to the trade association and, consequently, at the Big Apple fashion week. “I think the key to the future of American fashion is to become more international and more global,” said Ford. “One of the things that struck me the most in every sector in American life is how isolated America was and how it looked inside. I always thought of myself as an international designer, planning for a global market, and I think American fashion should think of itself this way. Even if you are just starting a business, you must immediately think about what will help you to be marketable in the world, and not only in America”. A suggestion, or rather a criticism, rather explicit, to American creativity that, in the last fashion shows season, had been put at stake by international press due to the lack of ideas and hints on the catwalk. One of the next novelties of the new round of New York fashion shows in the fall will be a location change: fashion shows should be held in The Shed, the performing art center just opened at Hudson Yards, the new neighbourhood where, among others, will rise mega shopping complexes (including Neiman Marcus). It would be the umpteenth transfer: from Bryant Park to Lincoln Center in 2010 and then to Skylight Clarkson Square, followed by the Spring Studios area. On the calendar, it looks like CFDA’s CEO Steven Kolb has not ruled out the possibility of shortening the duration of fashion week by one day. This year, a series of initiatives should also be introduced to promote “inclusiveness and diversity in the sector”, issues that have become the first priority on the agenda for some brands. Waiting to see all these news, the awards ceremony for the CFDA Fashion Awards 2019 will be held in Brooklyn on June 3rd, awarding the protagonists of fashion in different categories for the work done during the previous year. Among those nominated this year: Virgil Abloh, Marc Jacobs and Thom Browne.

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