Fashion's Most Powerful Tool Just Stepped Into The 21st Century

Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
Although the fashion industry is always eager to embrace trends — the more novel, the better — it's always been a step behind when it comes to the tools to help disseminate them. From being slow to adopt digital platforms to moving at a glacial pace when it comes to diversity, fashion has a lot to catch up on. On a smaller scale, it took until now to make the official calendar that designers, editors, buyers, and creatives rely on finally available online.

Fashion legend Ruth Finley began keeping the Fashion Calendar in 1941, and has been its point person until the CFDA purchased the rights for it last year. It went from posting just 60 to 70 shows a season back in the '40s to many hundreds a week during the present day. But, the technology hasn't quite caught up with the volume. Until last year, the calendar was still only available as either a hard-copy printout with a tell-tale red cover, or a downloadable PDF.

Well, yesterday, the CFDA unveiled a new site that's got all the doodads you'd expect from an online calendar — like search tools, submission functions, the ability to export your events to your Google Calendar, and finally being able to "Ctrl+F" to your heart's delight. The full bells-and-whistles package costs an additional $55 (a year's subscription is $550, up from Finley's $495). Glaringly missing is a mobile-friendly site and the ability to sync your planned events with your personal organizational apps, but CFDA CEO Steven Kolb promises that this is just version 1.0 — there are many updates to come.

There's also an interesting tool that lets you filter to see only events that are cherry-picked for you by an anonymous panel of fashion insiders. Currently, it's a fairly predictable roster of shows that includes Jason Wu, Altuzarra, and Proenza Schouler, as well as some surprises like Vera Wang and Carolina Herrera which, while heavy hitters, aren't quite considered hyped events during Fashion Week.

Given that the organization was recently named one of the most innovative companies in style, we can only imagine what version 10.0 will look like.
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