NEW YORK — It’s a new day for the Fashion Calendar. In October the Council of Fashion Designers of America acquired the master list of American fashion scheduling from Ruth Finley, the calendar’s founder and steward since 1945, taking the formerly bimonthly print publication digital. Now called the CFDA Fashion Calendar, the redesigned online-only iteration was demonstrated Tuesday and is live for subscribers — there are more than 650 of them — today.
Fear not, analogue users — you can still print it.
Revamped with the goal of improved organization and user-friendliness, the updated calendar is available at cfda.com and functions much like popular digital products such as Google Calendar or Outlook, whereby the schedule can be viewed by month, week and day and events list the time, location and contact information. An app is not available yet. Subscriptions are available yearly ($550 with four free listings and a discounted rate for additional listings), for specific market weeks ($150) or for single listings ($325). New features include search filters, so events can be searched by name or category (party, launch, New York Fashion Week, etc.), and subscribers can save important events to their personal profiles and export them to their own Outlook and Google calendars. There are notifications when a location is to be determined and links to Google Maps.
While RSVP information is available, the calendar is not an RSVP service. Asked if there was any affiliation with Fashion GPS, CFDA chief executive officer Steven Kolb said no, but did not rule out future partnerships with GPS, and mentioned other potential hookups with transportation partners such as Uber and the MTA, as well as the New York Mayor’s office.
One of the primary purposes of the Fashion Calendar has been and remains avoiding scheduling conflicts. Event organizers can submit a listing and immediately see if there is a conflict. There is an approval process, albeit a lenient one. Now that the calendar is in the hands of the CFDA, the question is whether it will exert more of a managerial edit on what’s considered a cluttered and unruly schedule, particularly during New York Fashion Week.
“I don’t think you can go backward and tell people who have been on the calendar season after season, ‘Guess what, we decided you’re no longer able to show,’” Kolb said. “It’s a bit subjective in determining who should or shouldn’t show.” Not to mention that the CFDA bought the Fashion Calendar as a source of revenue.
Still, Kolb said that for the spring 2015 season starting in September, users who are new to the calendar will have to tender an application subject to review. “It will be a soft review, but we’re really going to look to make sure it’s a real business and it’s an appropriate fit,” said Kolb, noting that the calendar is a work in progress. If a massive schedule crackdown isn’t possible, Kolb said that for the upcoming fall 2015 shows the CFDA asserted “the power of ‘no,’” when it came to managing the show calendar, specifically the practice of multiple designers showing at the same time.
“I was nervous,” Kolb said. “But power people who said, ‘I have to have this slot and this time,’ — when we’ve said no and said no with confidence, they’ve respected that.”