Interim members are invited by the CFDA to join for a limited time of up to three years.
The Interim membership is aimed at designers who have been in business for at least one, but no more than five years, and have achieved a noteworthy level of recognition and success based on their talent.
Recognizing that these are young companies with limited financial means, Interim Membership dues will be waived for the first year and will be significantly reduced for years two and three.
“There is a vast pool of young talent that is contributing to the creative conversation in American fashion,” Steven Kolb, chief executive officer of the CFDA, told WWD. “Often, these designers are underrepresented and underfunded, and they are challenged to fulfill their brands’ potential because they lack institutional support. By opening CFDA’s resources and network to the Interim members, we are embracing this creative class and advancing their opportunity for success,” he said.
In addition to receiving most of the benefits of CFDA membership, Interim members will be allowed to take advantage of exclusive business development guidance and support, in addition to individual mentorship and industry introductions, as needed. Interim members will be invited to membership meetings but will have no voting rights. In addition, they cannot serve on the CFDA board.
At present, there are 474 CFDA members, including Interim members.
Members’ dues are determined by the size of their business and generally range between $1,000 and $10,000. The CFDA declined to disclose what the Interim membership dues will be.
Asked how it was determined who gets a CFDA Interim membership, the organization said that designers who are resonating creativity to the CFDA and have potential to grow their businesses were prospected and presented to the board. The CFDA considers the Interim membership a stepping stone and development support to prepare talent for full membership.
As for whether a CFDA member who’s experiencing hardship can move down to Interim membership, the organization said, “CFDA supports members who are experiencing financial difficulties and has always been accommodating and flexible.”
The inaugural 22 Interim members are Nicole Benefield, Nicole Benefield Portfolio; Kim Bentz, Bentz; Melissa Benta, Bentz; Aisling Camps; Patrick Cupid; Patrick Henry, known professionally as Fresh,” Richfresh, Inc.; Emma Gage, Melke; Snow Xue Gao; Lauren Harwell Godfrey, Harwell Godfrey; Raul Lopez, Luar; Bach Mai; Keya Martin, Keeyahri; Sami Miro, Sami Miro Vintage; Nicole Muhammad, Sew Elevated; Christian Juul Nielson, Aknvas; Shawn Pean, June79; Teddy von Ranson; T.A. Rudder, Une Femme New York; Michael Ward, The Salting; Marrisa Wilson, Marrisa Wilson NY; Long Xu, Loring, and Henry Zankov, Zankov.
In related CFDA news, Edvin Thompson of Theophilio, the Brooklyn-based designer who was the winner of the 2021 CFDA American Emerging Designer of the Year Award in November, was extended an invitation for membership from the board. The designer, whose collections are inspired by his Jamaican heritage, was officially elected by the CFDA membership earlier this month, to become a CFDA member effective immediately.
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