The Council of Fashion Designers of America is slowly making changes to make it more relevant to the industry it represents, and this week marks another step in that direction. After criticisms that New York Fashion's seven-day, eight-night format dragged on for too long, and that its CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund judges lacked inclusivity and diversity, earlier this year, very quietly, the CFDA added two new judges — plus-size model Paloma Elsesser and Vogue.com Fashion News Director Chioma Nnadi. On Wednesday, it announced a new condensed schedule, as well as which designers will be showing.
"Prompted by several seasons’ worth of feedback from domestic and international stakeholders, newly-appointed CFDA Board Chairman Tom Ford and the CFDA decided to shorten the official New York Fashion Week dates to five days and five nights beginning this September," a press release announcing the schedule states. "As a result, the Spring-Summer 2020 New York Collections will be shown from September 6 to September 11."
"New York Fashion Week needs an edit — a more tightly curated, recommended list of events," StyleZeigeist editor Eugene Rabkins wrote for Business of Fashion in 2017. "As the Chambre Syndicale does in Paris, and the British Fashion Council does in London, the CFDA should compile a tightly edited schedule of events and impose some form of curation, coordination and quality assurance."
In May, when Ford announced the switch-up initially, Hilldun Corporation financier Gary Wassner tweeted his agreement. Wassner's tweet echoed the sentiments of fashion editors and international buyers industry-wide who were exhausted by the extensive schedule that overlapped with London Fashion Week, often leaving them to scramble for the rest of Fashion Month.
I agree with the need to shorten NYFW. Too many shows. Too long. Adding men's to the front of women's was a mistake. Etc etc. My concerns regarding this decision are about selection. And opportunity. And the spiral into the rabbit hole of irrelevance.— gary wassner (@gary_wassner) May 9, 2019
Telfar, the unisex brand established by Telfar Clemens in New York back in 2005 (Telfar is the 2017 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner) with the slogan "It's not for you – it's for everyone" will kick off fashion week. Telfar's show has become an editor favorite, a mash-up of fashion's elite and cool kids. AND A NOD TOWARDS THE MOVE TO NON GENDER-SPECIFIC FASHION? Marc Jacobs will close NYFW the following Wednesday with Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Christopher John Rogers, Christian Siriano, Sies Marjan, Tom Ford, and Luar, among others, showing in between. Both 2018 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner Pyer Moss and Marchesa have returned to the schedule and will show in September, the latter by appointment only.
"We listened to feedback from both the domestic and the global fashion industry to tighten and strengthen the Official New York Fashion Week schedule," Steven Kolb, President and CEO of the CFDA said in the same press release. "I am excited for the strong September lineup which will continue to showcase and celebrate the creativity and diversity of American fashion."