Kerby Jean-Raymond, Maria Cornejo, Carly Cushnie, and Virgil Abloh

Times are changing, and so is the board of the CFDA. In something of a shakeup, Tom Ford, himself new to the board as of March, when he became the organization’s chairman, last week confirmed the appointment of four new members: Virgil Abloh, Maria Cornejo, Carly Cushnie and Kerby Jean-Raymond. The four assumed seats previously held by Georgina Chapman, Kara Ross, Mimi So and Marcus Wainwright, who simultaneously rotated to emeritus status.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America was founded in 1962 by the relentlessly proactive publicist Eleanor Lambert. She saw in the emerging designer personalities of the American fashion industry a deep wealth of talent, and recognized the potential power they could wield by working together to advance the industry as a whole. Lambert thus proposed her brainchild, the CFDA.

From Day One, a board of directors has been essential to the organization’s operations. The first board was comprised of Lambert, Bill Blass, Donald Brooks, David Evins, Anne Fogarty, James Galanos, Helen Lee, Leon Mnuchin, John Moore, Norman Norell, Silvia Pedlar, Adele Simpson, Pauline Trigere, John Weitz, Sydney Wragge and Ben Zuckerman.

Over time, the board expanded under bylaws that allow for up to 27 members. But in recent years the CFDA leadership has opted for tightening. “We worked on reducing the number of directors to create a smaller board which is more manageable and effective,” said CFDA chief executive officer Steven Kolb. While the head count has held fairly constant at around 20, with the June resignation of Deborah Lloyd, in advance of her move to London, it now sits at 19, inclusive of the changes last week.

Perhaps appropriate for the non-linear make-up of the fashion industry, the path to attaining and retaining board membership is fluid. A term’s stated length is six years. Nine current members have served longer, with Ralph Lauren and newly named treasurer Stan Herman, who joined in 1971, besting Michael Kors by 20 years. In addition, Prabal Gurung and Ashley Olsen are in their sixth year.

According to Kolb, each year, CFDA members are asked to register interest in a board seat. “This input is reviewed by the nominating committee, which consists of the chairman and officers of the board,” he said. “However, the chairman has the discretion to recommend candidates to the board. New board members must be approved by the majority of the board.” The option to renew for multiple terms is open-ended and, Kolb said, “tenure is influenced by level of participation.”

Here, the lists of current board members, with the year each joined, and emeritus members with the dates of their tenures. A third board, In Memoriam, was designated fairly recently and lists only those board members who died since 2008. Sadly, one name was added last week: Isabel Toledo served on the CFDA’s board from 2006 to 2013.

CFDA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Tom Ford, Chairman (2019)

Tracy Reese, Vice Chairman (2007)

Stan Herman, Treasurer (1971)

Vera Wang, Secretary (1999)

Virgil Abloh (2019)

Stacey Bendet (2017)

Dao-Yi Chow (2017)

Maria Cornejo (2019)

Carly Cushnie (2019)

Diane von Furstenberg (1999)

Prabal Gurung (2013)

Tommy Hilfiger (2012)

Kerby Jean-Raymond (2019)

Norma Kamali (2010)

Michael Kors (1991)

Reed Krakoff (2003)

Ralph Lauren (1971)

Ashley Olsen (2013)

Italo Zucchelli (2014)

 

CFDA EMERITUS BOARD

Joseph Abboud (1990-2009)

Linda Allard (1995-2004)

Jeffrey Banks (1990-2007)

Leigh Bantivoglio (2006-2010)

John Bartlett (2005-2011)

Dana Buchman (2004-2010)

Tory Burch (2009-2018)

Georgina Chapman (2014-2019)

David Chu (2007-2012)

Kenneth Cole (1996-2013)

Francisco Costa (2006-2016)

Philip Crangi (2012-2015)

Louis Dell’Olio (1990-2007)

Marc Ecko (2004-2010)

Lazaro Hernandez (2012-2017)

Carolina Herrera (1986-2006)

Carole Hochman (2012-2017)

Marc Jacobs (2011-2015)

Alexander Julian (1979-2003)

Donna Karan (1977-2004)

Kasper (1968-2003)

Calvin Klein (2000-2005)

Derek Lam (2010-2017)

Richard Lambertson (2005-2010)

Robert Lee Morris (1995-2009)

Jenna Lyons (2012-2018)

Jack McCollough (2012-2017)

Mary McFadden (1977-2003)

Nicole Miller (2004-2010)

Patrick Robinson (2008-2012)

Narciso Rodriguez (2007-2014)

Kara Ross (2012-2019)

Selima Salaun (2008-2014)

Mimi So (2012-2019)

Cynthia Steffe (2002-2008)

Yeohlee Teng (2003-2013)

Monika Tilley (1977-2004)

Patricia Underwood (1986-2005)

John Varvatos (2003-2009)

Marcus Wainwright (2009 – 2019)

Gerard Yosca (1993-2008)

David Yurman (2009-2014)

 

CFDA IN MEMORIAM BOARD:

Oscar de la Renta (2001-2014)

Carlos Falchi (1992-2008)

Mary Ann Restivo (1988-2006)

Kate Spade (1999-2009)

Isabel Toledo (2006-2013)

 

Some Recent CFDA History:

Brandon Maxwell Scores CFDA’s Womenswear Designer of the Year Award

Video: Watch Jennifer Lopez’s Emotional Speech at the CFDA Fashion Awards 2019 

Video: Diane von Furstenberg’s Last Speech as CFDA Chairman

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