By  on September 10, 2012

As Fern Mallis remembers it, there wasn't much of an office when she joined the Council of Fashion Designers of America as executive director in 1991.

"It was the size of a closet, with a bunch of file cabinets and a phone on the other counter," Mallis recalls. "You had to get up from your desk to get it. There were people who told me they thought the CFDA was an answering machine, because nobody ever picked up."

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