Fashion shows are meant to allow designers to show their collections and vision for the following season.
Everyone goes through huge efforts and large expense to make it as easy and pleasant for the editors and retailers. The market has expanded greatly in the last years with Asia, Middle East, Russia and Brazil growing so fast. It requires a lot of coordination and planning.
Editors, retailers and designers like the consistency of every designer always showing on the same day of the week season after season. It makes it so much easier for everyone to plan and attend shows. Clearly, year after year, the calendar changes for there are 7 days in the week and every new year the calendar advances 1 day. Some years it will be better for some cities, some years not.
That is what is happening in September 2012. I believe our friends in Milan did not understand that. We did not change from the agreement we reached of starting Fashion Season in New York on the same day every year, which is the second Thursday of February and September. It is the nature of the calendar.
I also believe this conflict is a misunderstanding. I am convinced it will be resolved and that the agreement that was made 3 years ago at great cost and effort is valid and will be kept.
As the President of the CFDA, I represent my fellow designers. We share the same goal as Milan, Paris and London and everyone at the CFDA has great respect and admiration for designers working in those cities. Our shared goal is that we want the editors and retailers to see our work and do theirs.
At a time of great uncertainties in the world, we are lucky to be part of an industry that is flourishing and that provides an enormous quantity of jobs. We should not jeopardize that by being apart. It is most important that we show unity, fairness and that we work together to ensure everyone is given equal benefit from our work.
As we say in fashion, the show must go on!
Diane von Furstenberg