NEW YORK — Leave it to Diane von Furstenberg to loosen up a crowd.
The president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, who, along with the CFDA board, hosted a party to welcome 30 new members Monday night, had the fashion crowd in stitches during her welcoming remarks. Standing on a bench upholstered with an abstraction of her iconic signature print, von Furstenberg mused about the ups and downs of a fashion career, and how crucial it is for the CFDA to protect and help designers. Along the way, she stumbled over a few names of the retail executives in attendance.
“I am really bad with names,” she admitted. “I once introduced my daughter to Mrs. Clinton, and I said Mrs. Carter.”
The likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Peter Som, Charles Nolan, Yigal Azrouël, Dennis Basso, Gilles Mendel, Mary McFadden, Arnold Scaasi and Yeohlee Teng came to the DVF Studio in the Meatpacking District to tip their hats to the new members.
“I wanted to make this a very inclusive club,” von Furstenberg said of one of her goals for the CFDA.
New club members at the party included Marchesa’s Keren Craig, Generra’s Pina Ferlisi, Tory Burch, VPL’s Victoria Bartlett, Rachel Roy, Milly’s Michelle Smith, Mary Ping, Henry Jacobson, adampluseve’s Adam Lippes, Monika Botkier, Subversive’s Justin Giunta and Mimi So.
To join the CFDA, designers must fulfill a number of requirements, including submitting a portfolio of work and two letters of recommendation from active CFDA members. But some designers and new members at the party came up with their own ideas for a hazing, fashion-style.
“Who could put on a proper sleeve in the fastest amount of time?” offered new member Richard Chai.
Phillip Lim, also a new member, thought of a less technical task.
“I would say wearing white socks with black dress pants in public,” he joked.
This story first appeared in the August 1, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.