By  on February 28, 2008

NEW YORK — Change seems to be a buzzword these days, and it's now extending to the 2008 CFDA Fashion Awards.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America event will be back at the New York Public Library on June 2, but this time, it will come in a new format. Rather than the usual cocktail reception at the library's Astor Hall, arriving guests will move straight to the Celeste Bartos Forum for a theater-style show. After the last award is presented, they will move to dinner at the adjacent Bryant Park Grill restaurant, which the CFDA is taking over for the night.

By nixing the traditional dinner inside the library, the industry organization will be able to change the seating footprint and can accommodate 500 guests as opposed to 450 in previous years. CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg has spearheaded the creation of the concept.

"It's a fresh way that still connects to the history we have with the library," said Steven Kolb, the CFDA's executive director. "By shifting the format, we will be able to be more casual, but still very chic."

Swarovski will continue to underwrite the event, and T-Mobile is returning for the second year as the sponsor of the special viewing party. Details of this party, which has taken place at Astor Hall for two years, are still being determined. KCD is producing the awards, with art direction by Laird + Partners.

CFDA members as well as invited retailers, stylists and editors can vote for the nominees and honorees electronically until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday. Some 800 people are expected to vote.

The nominations will be unveiled at a party hosted by Swarovski and the CFDA board at the Rooftop Gardens at Rockefeller Center on March 10. Von Furstenberg, Kolb, Francisco Costa, Isaac Mizrahi, Reed Krakoff, Phillip Lim and Rag & Bone's David Neville have been tapped to reveal the nominees and honorees.

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