The CFDA Stakes Its Claim on Homegrown Talent, Debuts American Collections Calendar
After years of internal industry critique and debate over the value of dedicated fashion weeks and expensive shows in the age of streaming and social media, the Council of Fashion Designers of America announced today that it will expand its official show calendar to include not only New York Fashion Week events, but a full schedule of all American designers showing anywhere, anytime.
This inclusive move represents a departure from years of strict adherence to an official "on schedule" Runway360 New York Fashion Week calendar—with "off schedule" shows previously relegated to alternative calendars and promotional platforms.
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In an open letter, CFDA Board Chairman Tom Ford wrote: "The chief mission statement of the CFDA since its inception in 1962 has been to promote American fashion both domestically and abroad. Now more than ever this is one of our primary goals. The world has changed dramatically since 1962 and achieving global brand recognition is key in securing success for American designers.
"While the CFDA will continue to encourage American designers to show in New York during New York Fashion Week, we recognize the need for some to broaden their global visibility. In the past few years, many of our members have chosen to show in Europe, Asia, and other key markets and in many cases off-calendar. The events of the past year have only highlighted the need for flexibility within the fashion system.
"Wherever or however American designers choose to show their collections, it is our job as the CFDA to honor our original mission statement and to help promote and support American fashion. Therefore, we will publish on the schedule not only the schedule of designers showing in New York during New York Fashion Week but also those of American designers showing off calendar and abroad.
"To that end, the show schedule that is released by the CFDA each season will be renamed the 'American Collections Calendar.' We will include all American designers within the calendar and on Runway360, regardless of location or collection release date."
The new measure will take effect immediately, beginning this February 14 to 17, during autumn-winter 2021 New York Fashion Week, which will be presented with adherence to social distancing and Covid pandemic restrictions and public health recommendations.