CFDA Announces Plans to Make Fashion Even Faster

Fashion shows are a “broken system,” according to the Council of Fashion Designers of America, who announced yesterday that they’ve been investigating ways to restructure the twice-yearly New York Fashion Week schedule. Rather than previewing what to expect in the coming season, the CFDA is moving toward a more consumer-driven experience that presents in-season collections already available for purchase.

We have designers, retailers and everybody complaining about the shows,” said CFDA Chairman Diane von Furstenberg to WWD. “Something’s not right anymore because of social media, people are confused […] We have some ideas. Everyone seems to feel that the shows being consumer-driven is a very good idea.”

Alongside Boston Consulting Group, the CFDA will begin conducting a survey after the holidays that closely examines this potential by assessing who in the industry is in favor of a change. Though they’ve yet to pinpoint the perfect solution, von Furstenberg suggested a shift would allow brands to preview their collections more intimately with press and retailers six months out. Once product has shipped, these brands could then produce a more timely big-budget production to coincide with the official release. 

With this organization, fall collections would be shown in September and spring in February, which CFDA President and CEO Steven Kolb said would benefit designers and shoppers equally. “We want to take a broken system and create a new system,” he told WWD. “Ninety-five percent of the people I’ve spoken to say, ‘Amen.’”

20 Must See Photos + CFDA Awards Winners

Kim Kardashian West wears custom Proenza Schouler with designers Jack McCullough and Lazaro Hernandez. Photo: David X Prutting/

From Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen to Pharrell Williams, the CFDA Awards winners and all the must see photos of the night.

The CFDA Awards — fashion’s Oscars for honoring the best designers and figures in the industry, and, of course, a chance for celebs to pull out all the sartorial stops. A pregnant Kim Kardashian wore sheer, presenter Amanda Seyfried wore a glorious sequined Rodarte number, Pharrell wore a normal-sized hat, Taraji P. Henson looked red hot in Vera Wang, designer Betsey Johnson performed her signature split on the red carpet, and The Fat Jew even showed up, rosé in hand.

Here’s who won:

Womenswear Designer of the Year: Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row

Menswear Designer of the Year: Tom Ford

Accessory Designer of the Year: Tabitha Simmons

Swarovski Award for Womenswear: Rosie Assoulin

Swarovski Award for Menswear: Shayne Oliver for Hood By Air

Swarovski Award for Accessory Design: Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel for Mansur Gavriel

Fashion Icon Award: Pharrell Williams

Lifetime Achievement Award: Betsey Johnson

Media Award: Instagram

International Prize: Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli

See all the greatest looks and photos of the night here:

Betsey Johnson and Pharrell Williams after Williams accepted the Fashion Icon Award.2015 CFDA Fashion Awards - Award Presentation

Photo: David X Prutting/

Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen with presenter Amanda Seyfried after accepting the award for Womenswear for The Row2015 CFDA Fashion Awards - Award Presentation
Photo: David X Prutting/

Pharrell and Kanye West2015 CFDA Fashion Awards - Award Presentation
Photo: David X Prutting/

Amanda Seyfried in a stunning, sparkling Rodarte creation.2015 CFDA Fashion Awards - ArrivalsPhoto: Billy Farrell/

Dang, Gigi! Gigi Hadid in a gold jumpsuit — perfection.2015 CFDA Fashion Awards - Winners Walk
Photo: David X Prutting/ 

Model Imaan Hammam looking gorgeous in Creatures of the Wind.2015 CFDA Fashion Awards - Arrivals
Photo: David X Prutting/

Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCullough and Lazaro Hernandez flank a newly pregnant Kim Kardashian West, wearing a custom dress by the designers.2015 CFDA Fashion Awards - Arrivals
Photo: David X Prutting/

Pharrell Williams and Helen Lasichanh with Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West2015 CFDA Fashion Awards - Arrivals
Photo: David X Prutting/

Empire‘s Taraji P. Henson gives a wave, wearing a custom Vera Wang gown.2015 CFDA Fashion Awards - Arrivals
Photo: David X Prutting/

Taraji P. Henson giving Alexander Wang an enthusiastic hello.2015 CFDA Fashion Awards - Arrivals
Photo: David X Prutting/

Menswear designer of the year Tom Ford.
2015 CFDA Fashion Awards - Arrivals
Photo: David X Prutting/

Posh Spice Victoria Beckham
2015 CFDA Fashion Awards - Arrivals
Photo: David X Prutting/

CFDA President Diane Von Furstenberg with Bill Cunningham at the 2015 CFDA Awards. 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards - Arrivals
Photo: Billy Farrell/

Betsey Johnson shows off her signature split — post cartwheel — on the red carpet.2015 CFDA Fashion Awards - Arrivals
Photo: Matteo Prandoni/

Stunning Coco Rocha glows in custom Banana Republic by Marissa Webb.2015 CFDA Fashion Awards - Arrivals
Photo: Matteo Prandoni/

Emmy Rossum in Dion Lee.2015 CFDA Fashion Awards - Arrivals
Photo: Matteo Prandoni/

The Fat Jew, at the CFDA Awards for some inexplicable reason (though surely to the delight of many).2015 CFDA Fashion Awards - Arrivals
Photo: Matteo Prandoni/

Juliette Lewis in a white, feathery ball skirt courtesy of Christian Siriano.2015 CFDA Fashion Awards - Arrivals
Photo: Matteo Prandoni/

Karlie Kloss looking gorgeous in DVF.2015 CFDA Fashion Awards - Arrivals
Photo: Matteo Prandoni/

Tinashe wearing  Public School very very well.2015 CFDA Fashion Awards - Arrivals
Photo: Matteo Prandoni/




Illustration by Joseph Larkowsky

If Fashion with a capital F seems to exist for a chosen few lucky enough to occupy the narrow intersection of wealth and malnutrition, then TV is fashion’s antithesis, designed for the everyman, fundamentally populist, and all-embracing. Long happy to burnish its art credentials — think of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute — high fashion has been less comfortable with settling in on, say, NBC prime time. Yet here we are in 2015, and the priests and priestesses of high fashion are hardly off our screens.

What began as a trickle with Michael Kors, a designer who supersized his empire thanks in part to his role as a judge on Bravo’s Project Runway, has become a raging torrent. Kors left Project Runway in 2012, after ten seasons, only to be replaced by Zac Posen, a design prodigy who is so highly lauded that his first gown secured a place in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. Now wrap dress queen and CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg has followed suit with a show of her own. Simultaneously, high fashion is plundering reality TV in the opposite direction — viz the example of Keeping Up with the Kardashians’s Kendall Jenner, whose whirlwind rise from reality TV star to bona fide supermodel has turned her into one of the most visible faces in fashion.

Pop culture junkies have always had a facility for tapping into the zeitgeist, but what’s driving this new bond between fashion and reality TV is old-fashioned salesmanship. It’s no coincidence that Jenner has 20 million followers on Instagram — she merely has to post a selfie, dressed in Marc Jacobs, for the photo to get 600,000 likes. (By comparison, old-school model Kate Moss eschews social media. “I couldn’t think of anything worse than people knowing what I’m doing all the time,” she told The Times in 2012.)

Co-opting reality stars is one way to magnify a brand; becoming a reality star is another. In the case of Kors, it was his magnetic personality that became the breakout of Project Runway. As a result he became famous — not just name-on-a-clothing-tag famous, but household name famous. His luxe, jet-setter aesthetic suddenly found its best spokesperson in the designer, and everything from creamy, four-figure, gray cashmere sweater sets seen on his runways to the more affordable, logo-emblazoned bags that became ubiquitous parts of his empire, a chance to get closer to the man on the screen. His wildly popular initial public offering in 2011 turned him into a billionaire.

With her royal pedigree, exotic demeanor, and voluptuous purr, Diane von Furstenberg is a readymade star. She launched her own reality competition show late last year for E! called House of DVF. Von Furstenberg, who is rumored to be taking her company public in the near future, is the central figure of her show, in which she inculcates a group of girls with her business ethos before choosing one as “brand ambassador.”

Although these may be the most high-profile examples, they’re far from the only ones. Fledgling network Ovation has The Fashion Fund, which follows Vogue editor Anna Wintour as she presides over the long-running competition hosted by her magazine to help up-and-coming designers. There’s Isaac Mizrahi, hawking his wares on QVC with upbeat banter into the wee hours. Hollywood stylist Brad Goreski rates celebrity ensembles on E!’s Fashion Police. Tyra Banks’s modeling competition is entering its 22nd season (or “cycle”).

All of which is to say that as fashion’s cultural cachet continues to rise, reality TV is merely another outlet to maximize visibility. Brands need to find new ways to engage with their customers. Designers recognize that there’s no room for snobbery in a culture where success and visibility have become one and the same. In an increasingly crowded market, everyone is forced to raise his or her voice. You don’t wait for customers to find you; you go to them, wherever they are. Increasingly, that’s on screens, like phones and tablets, and yes, the television set glowing warmly in the living room.

Boychild, Mykki Blanco Perform for HBA, L’Wren Scott, Mick Jagger: Fashion News You Need to Know

Backstage at Hood By Air. Photo courtesy of Hood By Air


Mick Jagger has donated a three-year scholarship for Central Saint Martins, the prestigious British fashion school, in the memory of his long-term late partner L’Wren Scott.

PhotoAleks Kocev /


House of DVF will return for a second season starring season one winner Brittany Hampton.


Agnona builds its team–effective Monday, with the hiring of Natalina Stercoli as collection director and Paola Properzi Curti as commercial director.
Coach keeps its new cool factor in their new campaign for Spring ’15. It’s shot by Steven Meisel and features models Valery Kaufman and Julia Bergshoeff.
coach adPhoto courtesy of Coach
Hood By Air presented a special collection for Pitti Uomo 87 at the Villa di Maiano, just outside Florence. Guests were greeted by a Florentine choir and entertained by acts including Boychild and Mykki Blanco. Listen to the playlist:
Photo courtesy of Hood By Air

Catch Anna Wintour and a New Crop of CFDA Incubator Designers TONIGHT

Between the glamour, the glitz, and the glossy pages of Vogue hides a realm of fashion less frequently seen. It’s the realm where blood and tears accumulate alongside the perspiration Anna Wintour’s presence surely causes. That’s right, the second season s of The Fashion Fund premieres tonight, providing a second season of a truly unprecedented look at the pure and unique emotion that comes with birthing a brand. Design is an industry like rock ‘n’ roll–a “many will enter, few will win” kinda game.

The CFDA picks ten designers, many of whom fashion followers will already feel acquainted with (Tanya Taylor’s signature painted prints, Wes Gordon’s minimal cuts, Grey Ant’s sleek shades, Edie Parker’s bloggerati clutches, and Gigi Burris’s youthful millinery, to name a few)–the first episode will track the initial application process. You’ll laugh, cry, and imagine that you too, are BFFs with Ms. Wintour, just gently sparring over which designers you feel have the most potential, and share the thrill as the accepted candidates race to call their moms and relay the news.

Season two of The Fashion Fund premieres on Ovation on Wednesday, November 5th at 10 p.m. ET.

DVF Adds Reality TV Star to Her Already Insane Resume

Image via

Diane von Furstenberg does many things very well… wrap dresses (a design that celebrated its 40th anniversary this year), CFDA-leadership, book writing, and being generally inspiring — the woman was a princess and then made herself a fashion mogul.

Now she’s dipping her toes into new waters with a docu series on E! Diane’s new show “House of DVF” centers around Diane’s mission to appoint a brand ambassador–a young woman who can quite literally travel the world and represent DVF on all levels, particularly to younger generations, perhaps less familiar with that infamous wrap dress. Nice work if you can get it.

Eight girls will compete for this job a million girls would kill for under the tutelage, reprimands, and everything in between of DVF and top members of her team.

Get your fashion TV fix Sunday at 10 p.m. EST on E!

Courtesy photo


Shop DVF Designed Google Glass on Net-a-Porter Now

Have you wanted Google (and your cell phone) at the tip of your nose, but weren’t so into the previous, anti-fashion Google Glass iterations? Diane von Furstenberg has come to the rescue of fashion nerds everywhere; today, DVF Made For Glass  enters the wearable tech market on Net-a-Porter.

Clip-on shades turn the tech enabled optical glasses into sunnies in seconds. Here’s our favorite:


DVF Made For Glass retails at $1,800.

Six New York Style Tips to Help Beat the Heat

As New York enters its third week of boiler room temperatures (at least the heat is consistent, right?), the challenge for stylish ladies is no longer what to wear, but how to hide sweat and maximize your chances of feeling a cool morning breeze. That’s a tall order when the mercury hits triple digits, so fight dirty and break a few rules and you’ll soon have people asking what your secret is (don’t tell them).

Here are a few tips to keep cool and carry on: 

Tip #1: Wear a slip as a dress. After all, light, breezy nightwear feels so good in the daylight. Don’t want creepy guys asking you "How much?" when you strut by? Go for a loose slip, all the better to take advantage of the cool breeze off the river. And avoid the side streets by the Port Authority. Slip into Tibi’s gorgeous kaleidoscope dress for the perfect combination of (late) night and (cool) day. 

Tip #2: Rock some loose pants. It’s that rare win-win scenario. You’ll be making a fashion statement and feeling ultra comfy at the same time. Wear them at home, at the office, at the beach, at the emergency cooling shelter, wherever. If you wind up looking like Princess Jasmine of Aladdin, all the better. She did okay. Brave enough to try a print? We like Jessica Alba’s printed pants by the L.A. designer T-Bags. 

HEAT Shoes

Tip #3: Lose the socks. Go with shoes that don’t need them, like ballet flats, sandals, wedges, open-toed heels, and espadrilles. Hitting the gym? Little ankle socks are okay with sneakers, but slip them off the moment you’re off the elliptical. Your toes will thank you. 

HEAT Lace Shorts

Tip #4: Slip on some lace shorts. A pair of high-waisted shorts by Chloé or Diane von Furstenberg are as appropriate for the runway as they are for the coffee-cart line. Your dresses, skirts, pants, and jeans can hang out in your closet until September.

HEAT Top Hat Cat

Tip #5: Put on a hat. What kind hardly matters if you pair it with the right attitude. Baseball, fedora, cloche, newsboy, cowboy, sombrero. Whatever it is, it’s an essential tool to keep your precious face shaded. Add some pricey sunglasses and a pout and people might ask you for an autograph.

HEAT White Guy

Tip #6: Wear white. If you learned nothing else in your high school science class, you know that white reflects heat, while darker colors absorb it. That’s because on the electromagnetic spectrum, heat radiation is concentrated in blah blah blah you’re gong to skip this tip because you’re a New Yorker and we don’t wear white here except ironically which we’ll leave to the Bushwick set. Let’s move on.

HEAT Black

Real tip #6: Wear black, but keep it loose. Loose, black ensembles do exist, and they’ll catch a breeze just as well as some stark-white number. They’re also a hell of a lot easier to keep clean and stain-free. And when the first wisps of fall alight in September, you’ll be ready. 

[More by Anabel Simotas]

This Week’s NYC Happenings: Open Market, Film Feast, The Big Cheesy

MONDAY: Meat & Greet At The Meatpacking Fundraiser
Diane von Furstenberg and Theory’s Andrew Rosen are among the boldface names coming out tonight for the Meatpacking District Improvement Association’s inaugural fundraiser. Highline Stages will host, with the whole neighborhood on hand for sampling. The Misshapes and Nancy of LCD Soundsystem are on DJ duty. Food and booze will be provided by the likes of Catch, Bagatelle, and Serafina. Joie, Jay Godfrey and, of course, VF highlight the sample sales.

Open Market at Highline Stages (440 W. 15th St., the Meatpacking District) starts 8pm, Monday the 18th. General admission tickets are $150. To learn more about the event space, check out the listing at BlackBook Guides.

TUESDAY: A Reel Cool Time At Nitehawk
Nitehawk Cinema takes dinner and a movie to a new level as part of their Tuesday night series known as “Film Feast.” Chef Sarah Nguyen of Marc Forgione lays out five courses of French cuisine while you enjoy the Parisian flair of Amélie. Absinthe will be paired, d‘accord.

Film Feast’s Améliescreening is at Nitehawk Cinema (136 Metropolitan Ave., Williamsburg) at 7:30pm, Tuesday the 19th. Tickets are $95. To learn more about the cinema, check out the listing at BlackBook Guides.

SATURDAY: Say Cheese
Pop-up competition The Big Cheesy returns with seven melt masters squaring off at Openhouse Gallery. Returning champs Melt Shop will defend their grilled cheese crown against the likes of Murray’s Cheese Bar, ’wichcraft, and Sons of Essex.

The Big Cheesy at Openhouse (201 Mulberry St., Nolita) runs from noon–7pm on Saturday the 23rd and Sunday the 24th. Tickets are $25. To learn more about the gallery and event space, check out the listing at BlackBook Guides.

Be the first to know about the latest openings & events in NYC by signing up for the weekly BlackBook Happenings email.