SOMETHING HAPPENED– And no exactly saw it coming. But no one can deny that it happened. The fashion industry was… behind. It simply hadn’t caught up to the times. And it was obvious to everyone who payed attention. Sales, while not completely in the gutter, had caused a few fashion giants to reevaluate their leadership and marketing strategy. Last year DJ Harley and I had the privilege of attending Style Fashion Week’s NYFW shows.  It was during our research that I stated, “Why are they showing swimwear in the winter?” I knew why. But I still maintained that it was weird.  Finally, I’m not alone.

With the emergence and importance of fashion bloggers and direct to consumers markets. The fashion world had no choice but to wise up and see what they were doing wrong. Last year the Council of fashion Designers of America partnered with the Boston Consulting Group  to help craft and fix what had broken. And almost two weeks ago they released those results in the form a a ten page executive summary (which can be accessed on their site). The summary explains how they plan on changing New York Fashion Week for the better.  And for those of you that didn’t know, until this year the CFDA has informally helped industry veteran Ruth Finley, who has for nearly 70 years been in charge of the scheduling for NYFW, craft the official schedule for NYFW. Steven Kolb, the president and CEO of the CFDA, told The Business of Fashion that “We have, over the last few seasons, very informally, been more involved in supporting her with the scheduling, this season, we have announced publicly that we have even tightened that relationship. We are collectively making decisions on where people are showing — we’re really in daily communication and conversation on that.” As well as three other areas the fashion community of CFDA. This comes as no surprise seeing as how the CFDA purchased Ruth’s “Fashion Calendar” back in 2014. 

While much remains the same, what will be changing is the way the “schedules” are handled. Along with the bolstering of areas of the CFDA thinks are of importance. The three being:

Education: The CFDA has many scholarships, and even has a rather successful and sought after scholarship in partnership with Vogue headed by Anna Wintour. The scholarship is in fact so popular that it spawned it’s own reality show titled CFDA/Vogue: Fashion Fund. As well as the Fashion Incubator and the Education Summit which brings together faculty from American fashion schools. They also seek to make it easier for top design students to find employment with brands via a database.

PartnershipsWhile the Council of Fashion Designers of America admits that they never really had a structure for their partnership due to influx of offers. That’s something they are looking into changing in the future.

New York Manufacturing: A fund that would offer grants to New York based production facilities so that they may purchase new equipment and update old equipment. Making it easier for designers, particularly New York based designers to manufacture products locally.