The Council of Fashion Designers of America is slowly making changes following the appointment of Tom Ford as chairman, and this week marks another step in a new direction. After criticism that its CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund judges lacked inclusivity, earlier this year, the CFDA added two new judges — plus-size model Paloma Elsesser and Vogue.com Fashion News Director Chioma Nnadi. On Tuesday, the CFDA announced four new board members, rotating four existing members to "emeritus status."
Virgil Abloh, Maria Cornejo, Carly Cushnie, and Kerby Jean-Raymond will assume the seats vacated by Kara Ross, Georgina Chapman, Marcus Wainwright, and Mimi So, all of whom have been shifted to "non-voting emeritus status," WWD reports. “I’m rearranging the board so that it is more diverse in age and more diverse in every way,” CFDA chairman, Tom Ford tells WWD. The move comes after Ford says he asked each member what he or she thought worked and what didn’t at the CFDA during his first board meeting as chairman. “Lots of people voiced a concern that the board, and the CFDA, was not diverse enough.”
Ford maintains that Ross's departure from the board has nothing to do with Ross planning and co-hosting a Trump fundraiser in the Hamptons (with husband, billionaire real estate developer Stephen Ross) resulting in jewelry designer Dana Lorenz canceling her membership. “I mean, this country is about freedom of speech; it’s about freedom of political view," Ford tells WWD.
The chairman also has his eye on trimming the fat from the CFDA's yearlong calendar. "It enables us to become more important," he explained. "It enables you to get better speakers. It focuses everyone. [The press] can’t write about what the CFDA is doing every two weeks but you can, twice a year, focus on, ‘what’s happened since the last time the CFDA met? Where is it going?’ That’s part of this process of streamlining."