NEW YORK — The Council of Fashion Designers of America is staying firm.

This story first appeared in the October 7, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

On Thursday, CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg and chief executive officer Steven Kolb sent out a memo clarifying its position on the recent show date controversy, reasserting the fashion week dates they agreed to in 2008, and spelling out the schedule as they see it for the spring 2013 shows.

The letter was dispatched via e-mail to all segments of the American fashion industry, including designers, editors, retailers, show producers, public relations executives and model agencies.

“When we started together at CFDA, the members and the American fashion industry asked us to stabilize the dates of New York Fashion Week, which were being pushed earlier each year,” von Furstenberg and Kolb stated in the letter. “Given the international schedule, this was no easy accomplishment — but we were successful.”

In the letter, von Furstenberg and Kolb reiterated the “Second Thursday Rule” they said was agreed upon at a meeting of the CFDA, British Fashion Council, Chambre Syndicale, and Camera Nazionale della Moda in 2008. “By nature of the calendar, some years the second Thursday of the month occurs early in the month, other times it is later,” the letter stated. “For September 2012, the second Thursday start provides New York with extra time since the shows will start the week after Labor Day.

“All four fashion capitals have kept to this agreement, to date, and the U.S. will continue to do so for the foreseeable future,” they added in the letter. “As you may have read, the dates for showing the spring-summer 2013 collections are now being disputed. Milan is claiming that the agreement was for three years only. This is not the case; the agreed-to schedule was always meant to be a long-term/permanent one.”

For the spring 2013 collections, the New York shows would thus be scheduled from Sept. 13 to 20, London Sept. 21 to 25, Milan Sept. 26 to Oct. 2 and Paris Oct. 2 to 10.

“While the Camera Nazionale della Moda in Milan has expressed displeasure with the late start for September, we do not feel that New York should shift earlier,” the letter stated. “Our colleagues at the British Fashion Council support this decision, as they cannot change their dates either.”

Kolb and von Furstenberg added that at this time, “Milan currently plans to organize their shows from Wednesday, Sept. 19 – Tuesday, Sept. 25, which is in direct conflict with New York and London show dates.”

Should Milan stick to this plan, it could result in some editors sitting out the Italian collections. As reported, Condé Nast International chairman Jonathan Newhouse sent a letter to Mario Boselli, head of the Italian Chamber of Fashion, stating that the editors of Vogue, including those of the American, Italian and French editions, will not attend the Milan shows if there is a conflict with New York or London.

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