NEW YORK — The Council of Fashion Designers of America will have more than one reason to celebrate today.
The CFDA, which is welcoming 30 new members with a fete at the DVF Studio tonight, is also inaugurating the CFDA Business Services Network, which offers members benefits intended to help them and their businesses, including connecting them with key industry executives.
The network is the first major initiative from CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg, who has been vocal about increasing the benefits for members and building a resource network since she took over last October.
"I thought it was very important to create a support network," von Furstenberg said. "I thought it would be nice to have corporations being able to get involved in the CFDA to some degree."
To set up the network, the CFDA brought in Rachel Schechtman as director of strategic partnerships in January. Schechtman also has her own consulting firm, Cube Ventures, which focuses on marketing, merchandising and business development.
The network is divided into three segments: Corporate Affiliates, Partnership Perks and Job Desk.
The Corporate Affiliates division consists of businesses that can join and offer CFDA members special initiatives. In turn, their participation will give the companies access to CFDA members and events, as well as the chance to host and participate in roundtable discussions, and access to sponsorship opportunities. The inaugural Corporate Affiliates are: CB Richard Ellis Retail Services Group, Designers & Agents, J.C. Penney, Karen Harvey Consulting Group, Lord & Taylor, North American Fur Association, Saks Fifth Avenue and Zwinky. For example, D&A will offer two CFDA-branded booths at its trade shows, allowing qualifying designers to display their works, and Penney's will host two open-call events a year in New York where CFDA members can pitch their ideas for exclusive collections.
The Partnership Perks program focuses on discount and donation initiatives, allowing businesses to work with CFDA members through special offers, including direct discounts. Participants are: Fashion GPS, Panjiva, FedEx, W Hotels Worldwide, Assouline Books, Belle Fleur Florist, First Corporate Car Service, A to Z Couriers Inc., Madame Paulette, Music Express Car Service and Brentwood Royal Cleaners. The perks include a 19 percent discount on FedEx domestic and international shipping.Lastly, Job Desk is an online resource that helps CFDA members find freelance or full-time job opportunities, while corporate affiliates can contact members by posting their open opportunities online.
"This is an online resource that initially will be available just to CFDA members, and we will eventually open it to students as well and graduates," Schechtman said. To better service the new business network, the CFDA recently redesigned its Web site, cfda.com.
"'Dynasty' is all about gowns, the diamonds and the scandal, so it's a bit like the fashion industry. When we come to Cannes it's all about the red carpet dresses too, so it all fit really well," said designer @philippplein78 on the theme of his high-glamour resort 2019 show at his mansion in Cannes. #wwdfashion #cannes (📷: @zefashioninsider)
"I think Spike is such a brilliant director because he holds up a mirror to society and reflects these issues, yet he doesn't shove it down your throat, he doesn't tell you what to think," says @lauraharrier on her latest film @Blackkklansman. Harrier was at the Cannes Film Festival – for the very first time – with @officialspikelee. #wwdeye #cannes (📷: @zefashioninsider)
“I would think to myself, Are you happy? Yes, I’m wildly happy. I go to this studio every day and, in my inside voices, I’m giggling; I’m singing. Yes, it’s a lot of work, it’s a [huge] volume of material. It wouldn’t be for everybody. But I was very happy,” said soap opera star @therealsusanlucci of checking in throughout the years with her career trajectory. Lucci spoke to WWD about her decades-long career, love for pilates, motherhood and her QVC activewear line. Read Bridget Foley’s full piece on Lucci on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: @celestesloman)
@balmain has taken a stand at the #cannes Film Festival, dressing 16 actresses at a press call for the project “Noire N’est Pas Mon Metier,” or “Black Is Not My Profession.” The multimedia project includes a book, photo exhibit and documentary, which aims to expose discrimination in the French and American entertainment industries. “The moment I was asked to participate, I knew it was right for me, and for this brand, to form a part of this moment,” Balmain creative director @olivier_rousteing told WWD. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
"I always feel curious and I feel like there's more to learn. But I think being relevant, feeling relevant, I personally always feel that there's just so much more to know. And maybe that's the key.” — @themarcjacobs #wwdsummits #wwdbeauty (📷: @patrickmacleodphoto )
“The most amazing thing about her is that, regardless of all the things that have happened to her, her spirit is so undaunted by all of it. She is the most cheerful person you will ever meet. She doesn’t see problems, she only sees solutions,” said @ajanaomi_king of activist Ifrah Ahmed, who she plays in a new film “A Girl from Mogadishu.” WWD caught up with King at Cannes — Head to WWD.com to read more about her new role, personal style and how she uses social media for causes like Time’s Up and Black Lives Matter #wwdeye
WWD asked a number designers to share their thoughts on what Meghan Markle’s wedding gown will look like this Saturday. Here, Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli sketches his look. #wwdfashion #royalwedding #meghanmarkle