Tom Ford is soon to end his Chairmanship of the CFDA, the American Designer was appointed as the Chairman of the CFDA in June 2019. On May 31st the designer is ending his three year term.
If you are part of the fashion industry you are likely to know the importance of the CFDA -The Council of Fashion Designers of America. This not-for-profit organisation was founded in 1962 to promote American fashion designers globally, but also help them establish presence in the States as well. Today the organisation has 477 members mostly coming from fashion designers ranks working in womenswear, menswear, jewellery design and accessory design. The organisation operates alongside The CFDA Foundation, Inc. which is a separate not-for-profit organization, established to garner funds for charity and industry operations.
CFDA establishes the Fashion Calendar focused in New York Fashion Week but also hosts the annual CFDA Fashion Awards.
Ford was the Chairman of the CFDA during the incredibly difficult period for the fashion industry, still holding a grip on creatives both in the states and globally. Following the end of Ford’s term, CFDA CEO Steven Kolb will take the duties of Interim Chair until December 31, 2022. Additionally the Board’s current officers – Vice-Chair Tracy Reese, Secretary Vera Wang, Treasurer Stan Herman – will remain in their positions till the end of 2022.
“When I began my role as Chairman in June of 2019, my goal was to help the American fashion industry become more globally recognized for its talent and importance. I could not have imagined the extraordinary circumstances that both the industry and the world would have to navigate – that a pandemic would shut the world down and change the course of our lives and of our businesses forever. The pandemic challenged all of us to think about our businesses in new ways – from the design process and production, to how we reach and speak to our customers. We were forced to come up with creative new ways to run our companies,” shares Tom Ford
Tory Burch, Thom Browne, and Aurora James are unanimously elected effective June 1. as part of the Board ready to select the new Chairperson. The Board will vote on a new Chairperson in the fall to start in January in correspondence with CFDA’s fiscal calendar.
“Some may think that fashion is just about making beautiful clothes and accessories or having runway shows, dressing celebrities and throwing parties without considering the incredible amount of work that goes on behind the scenes, or that the fashion industry is a $3 trillion industry that employs millions of individuals,” adds Tom Ford.
Ford comes after a striking line of predecessors such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Oscar de La Renta, Bill Blass cand Carolyne Roehm to name a few. Tom Ford was initially set to be the Chairperson of CFDA for two years, with an extension of one year. CFDA Chairperson is usually in the position from a period of 2 to 4 years.
“The CFDA and its Board of Directors thanks Tom Ford for his leadership working on behalf of the American fashion industry during an unprecedented time, Tom initiated several key initiatives, which the CFDA remains firmly committed to.” the CFDA CEO Steven Kolb shares with the press.
Ford’s term at the CFDA brought a slew of necessary changes, geared towards pushing forward both American but also global fashion industry initiatives. Ford has started the diversification of the CFDA’s Board of Directors and helped start multiple new programs working on the much needed inclusion and equity in the fashion industry. One of the initiatives is the CFDA IMPACT created to form connections of talents who are looking to partner with brands to provide opportunities for hundreds of jobs and a slew of mentorship options within the industry.
Some may think that fashion is just about making beautiful clothes and accessories or having runway shows, dressing celebrities and throwing parties without considering the incredible amount of work that goes on behind the scenes, or that the fashion industry is a $3 trillion industry that employs millions of individuals
Together with VOGUE, Tom Ford was the key to the start up of the A Common Thread program which placed 5 Million USD in relief aid to struggling fashion business during the first two years of the global pandemic. It is important to note that 79% of those funds were distributed to fashion women and minority owned businesses.
Ford also worked on a tighter New York Fashion Week Schedule, reducing the event to five days. Additionally during the pandemic the designer brought the idea of the American Collections Calendar. The same was meant to focus on designers outside of the New York area by including all American designers regardless when and where they are showing.
Additionally during the pandemic and the new aspect of digital fashion weeks Ford worked with CFDA on the launch of RUNWAY360. The web page is serving both press and buyers during the New York Fashion Week, thus continuing the effective side of the digital fashion weeks. This provides a quick access to collection imagery, notes and designer contacts for press and buyers alike.
Finally, Ford worked on doubling the CFDA’s Scholarship Fund to half a million USD directed toward helping young fashion students.
“As Chairman of the CFDA, I have had the privilege to experience first-hand the remarkable determination and optimism that drives our industry. I am honored to have been able to support the truly incredible talent in the American fashion industry for these past three years, and I look forward to continuing in my role on the CFDA Board,” concludes Tom Ford.
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