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CFDA Links Up With Fashion Calendar

The CFDA is making a significant move to improve the overall New York Fashion Week experience.

NEW YORK — There’s been talk recently of improving the overall New York Fashion Week experience. Now the Council of Fashion Designers of America is making a significant move to aid those efforts.

This story first appeared in the December 16, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The CFDA is taking a more active role in the planning of shows and presentations, and will work with Ruth Finley and the Fashion Calendar, starting with the round of fall shows in February. The approach ranges from the scheduling of shows to servicing editors and buyers with better ways to organize their week.

“Over the past couple of seasons, we have been involved in supporting and helping Fashion Calendar around the schedule,” said CFDA chief executive officer Steven Kolb. “Fashion Calendar is legendary, Ruth is iconic. When Diane and I both started at the CFDA, we just felt that given our role and knowledge of designers, we could just be advisers and it would potentially make for a better schedule. This is an evolution of what we have been doing, but in a more public, formal way.”

The New York Fashion Week schedule, with some 350 shows, can be a challenge to organize. Often there are two or three shows scheduled at the same time, and significant designers were forced to share their time slots in the past.

“Fashion week is complex,” Kolb said. “It’s eight days, maybe nine, if you count the Wednesday before. The more people that can help navigate this, the better the experience, both on the front end in the scheduling so there is some rhyme and reason to the very full calendar, but also, equally as important, for the users of fashion week.”

Among CFDA’s contributions will be increased technology. For example, cfda.com, as part of the collaboration, will feature its own version of the fashion week calendar that will be user-friendly and accessible to CFDA members and the press who can sort events via specific categories, i.e. women’s or men’s wear, accessories, venue locations or runway shows versus presentations.

The Fashion Calendar will continue to publish its print version and online listings of shows, presentations and fashion week events.

As for scheduling of shows, Fashion Calendar and the CFDA will receive designer requests and work together to confirm time slots and catch any clashing show times.

“The fashion industry and the press will certainly benefit from this increased coordination and from the sorting capability that CFDA will be providing on its Web site,” said Finley, who started the listing of fashion industry events in 1941.

The collaboration covers the two fashion weeks as well as resort and pre-fall. Other event listings throughout the year will continue to be handled by the Fashion Calendar.