Diane von Furstenberg considering quitting the CFDA
Diane von Furstenberg is planning to quit her role as President of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), the governing body of runway fashion in the United States.
Von Furstenberg has held the position since 2006, during which she has overseen a remarkable growth in attention for the New York season. Albeit with a weakening of position vis-à-vis the other key three key international fashion capitals, London; Milan and Paris, in recent seasons – as several high profile American designers debarked to Paris.
“I’ve been doing this for quite some time, more than a decade, and believe we’ve made some very important changes. However, I think it might now be enough,” von Furstenberg told FashionNetwork.com.
The news emerged as the CFDA is mulling an idea to develop yet another season, asking designers to consider showing in June and December, rather than the current weeks in February and September. The idea being to respond to changing patterns in consumption and retailing due the explosion of sales on the Internet.
Noted for her dynamism and activism for American fashion, the Belgian-born designer has developed the tradition of writing to each designer on the official calendar. Some 136 designers are listed in this season’s 10-day schedule, which runs from February 5 to 14. The radical move in dates is apparently not something about which von Furstenberg is very enthusiastic.
“This season I told them not only do you designers have to create a great collection; you also have to invent your own new business model. So, I told them, whatever works best for you, do it!” explained the 71-year-old designer who emigrated to America in the early 70s.
Asked about the news, Steven Kolb, the executive director of the CFDA responded: “Diane has done a brilliant job and we are all very thankful to her. She has a network of contacts that is second to none; and her ability to get things done at the highest level is remarkable. Though, she has gone back and forth on the possibility of retiring, I should add.”
He noted that her present term of office finished at the end of December 2018.
“Whatever decision she makes, I will be happy and honored to have worked with her, and happy and honored to continue working with her,” stressed Kolb.
Across the Pond, the British Fashion Council, which oversees London Fashion Week, is currently without a president, since its distinguished and hard-driving Natalie Massenet retired late last year.
If she does move on, von Furstenberg will still be the boss of her eponymously named fashion house, which this weekend staged an upbeat presentation under the guidance of newly reinstalled design director Nathan Jenden.
Since October 2016, von Furstenberg has also been chair of a fund-raising campaign seeking $100 million for a new museum at the Statue of Liberty due to open in 2019.
“So, don’t forget, even after I leave I shall still be the Godmother of the Statue of Liberty, so that should keep me pretty busy,” ” smiled the almost preternaturally youthful grandmother von Furstenberg.
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