The Council of Fashion Designers of America has teamed with UBM Fashion to help increase the commercial viability of its members.
In a newly formed partnership, the two companies will work together to create programs to help emerging and established designers get their collections in front of retailers.
Tommy Fazio, for UBM, said the goal of this new agreement is to “bridge the gap between creative and commerce.”
Under the terms of the deal, UBM, which operates the Project, MAGIC, MRket, Coterie, Intermezzo, Moda and other trade shows in the U.S., will provide enhanced retailer matchmaking services, special events and cost assistance for new CFDA members. In addition, the two will work together on educational and mentorship programs in areas such as marketing, sales, distribution, manufacturing and finance.
“We want to get these designers in front of the people who will buy it,” Fazio said.
The partnership will launch this month at Project and Coterie as well as the newly launched MAGIC Japan show. CFDA brands will be identified on the trade show floor and there will be some “activations” as well, he said.
On Feb. 5 during New York Fashion Week: Men’s, Project will present four participating designers during a showcase at Skylight Modern. The designers — Michael Bastian, Matthew Singer, Baldwin and another yet to be named — have not staged runway shows during NYFW in the past, Fazio said.
“The CFDA is always looking for partnerships that help designers reach new retailers and consumers,” said Steven Kolb, president and chief executive officer of the CFDA. “UBM Fashion’s portfolio of programs and extensive contacts with retailers both large and small will help fuel the industry’s growth.”
Going forward, Fazio said that UBM and CFDA will work closely to better align the dates of the runway shows and the trade shows. This time around, Project is slated for Jan. 21 to 23 and the NYFW: Men’s shows start on Feb. 5. “We’ll be working to make them consecutive,” Fazio said.
“We’re especially excited by the opportunity to help hand-select great independent retailers from around the U.S.A. and the world who attend our events, and help them become business partners with great new American designers and brands from the CFDA,” said Mike Alic, managing director of UBM Fashion. “In the changing world of fashion, success is based on partnerships and networks — UBM Fashion is extremely happy to join forces with the CFDA to help the American fashion industry thrive.”