WASHINGTON — The Greater Washington Fashion Chamber of Commerce, a local trade association, has garnered support from some House lawmakers to form an official “Fashion Caucus” on Capitol Hill to give a voice to the industry’s issues and help shape policy.
Christine Brooks-Cropper, president of the group, which was incorporated here in November 2007, said it is spearheading an effort to create a caucus of lawmakers in Congress to vet the industry’s issues and ideally create a voting bloc to pass or defeat legislation impacting the national fashion industry.
So far, it has generated interest and support from Reps. Diane Watson (D., Calif.), Carolyn Maloney (D., N.Y.), Kendrick Meek (D., Fla.), Sheila Jackson-Lee (D., Tex.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D., D.C.), Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), Rosa DeLauro (D., Conn.) and House Judiciary committee chairman John Conyers (D., Mich.), according to Brooks-Cooper.
“When there is a time where different legislation is before the representatives, and there are some in the fashion industry who are on the opposing side of it, that’s when a caucus can have briefings and forums to give us a better platform to get our issues and concerns across,” she said.
Brooks-Cropper has a background in business development, advocacy and strategic planning, having previously worked for the Washington city government under former mayor Anthony Williams from 2002 to 2005.
A Fashion Caucus would act like the existing House Textile Caucus, which has been effective in bringing together Southern textile state lawmakers to work on issues important to the domestic textile industry.
Brooks-Cropper said some of the top agenda items for a congressional caucus, which she hopes is formed by the end of the year, could potentially include creating a fashion endowment fund to help generate a fashion incubator and provide scholarships to fashion students, deliberating pending legislation known as the Design Piracy Prohibition Act that would provide three years of copyright protection for fashion designs and supporting efforts to save the New York City Garment District.
In addition to reaching out to lawmakers, Brooks-Cropper hopes to bring other national fashion industry trade and lobbying associations on board.
Kevin Burke, president and chief executive officer of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, which opposes the Design Piracy Prohibition Act,said he plans to reach out to the GWFCC and discuss having the AAFA become a part of the caucus initiative.
Steven Kolb, executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, said the CFDA is not formally aligned with the Washington trade group, but is interested in the concept of a Fashion Caucus.
“If [it] was the right group that had an affinity to our industry and understands its impact both in terms of employment and jobs, and strengthening the American economy, then [a Fashion Caucus] is an interesting idea,” he said.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty