NEW YORK — The Council of Fashion Designers of America, with the help of Circa jewelry, is widening the spotlight to encompass accessories designers at Lincoln Center during fashion week.

This story first appeared in the February 9, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, director of fashion at Lincoln Center and an IMG fashion consultant, teamed with Steven Kolb, executive director of the CFDA, and Circa chairman and chief executive officer Chris Del Gatto to create the Circa Lounge to highlight accessory designs.

“Accessories are such an important part of our business, and it’s nice to give them a stage while the buyers are in town,” said Kolb.

Del Gatto added, “Being in the fashion and accessories industry, fashion is always very important to what we do. I love the idea of supporting accessory designers….We can have a wonderful presence with fashion week, and it will help accessory designers going forward.”

The Circa Lounge will feature one designer a day, including Vera Wang, Tory Burch, Dennis Basso, Elie Tahari, Tracy Reese and Rebecca Minkoff. Each designer will showcase their designs in the lounge, with an option to house an event such as a cocktail hour or lunch for invited guests.

“Everyone looks forward to viewing the ready-to-wear, but clothing’s just one aspect of a trend…and runways only give a glimpse of accessories. In the lounge, you’ll be able to appreciate them,” said Wolkoff.

The Circa Lounge will be markedly different than last year’s Harper’s Bazaar Accessories Bazaar — which showcased emerging accessories designers — as it will solely showcase CFDA ready-to-wear designers with an accessory line who are showing in the tents.

In addition, Circa’s support will continue after fashion week — the company will donate 10 percent of designated jewelry purchases to the CFDA to support accessories designers.

Wolkoff also aims to continue promoting accessories next season, whether that be through the scheduled Harper’s Bazaar event for next September, or an (as yet unplanned) reprise of the Circa Lounge. “This isn’t just about a one-off, it’s about showcasing an industry that needs support, and finding people who are supportive of this,” she said.

The lounge opens Thursday with an event hosted by Del Gatto, Wolkoff and Kolb that will showcase estate jewelry from Circa.

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