Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD Year In Fashion issue 12/11/2007

Diane von Furstenberg and the Council of Fashion Designers of America still have some convincing to do when it comes to dates for fashion weeks.

Reacting to a letter von Furstenberg, president of the CFDA, sent to her counterparts in London, Milan and Paris over dates for shows from September 2008 on, officials in those European cities on Monday hedged their bets.

A spokeswoman for the British Fashion Council said the organization would “carry on discussions” about its show dates with the CFDA, the French Fashion Federation and the Italian Chamber of Fashion. “There is certainly an open dialogue when agreeing dates,” said the spokeswoman. “We all acknowledge that each city has a place within the fashion calendar.”

In February, London Fashion Week will start a day earlier than the previous year’s fall shows, running from Feb. 10 through Feb. 15, bringing London’s shows closer to the end of New York Fashion Week on Feb. 8. The spokeswoman said the BFC had yet to decide on the London Fashion Week dates beyond February’s shows.

Mario Boselli, head of the Camera della Moda in Milan, said he still has to discuss the letter with other members of the Camera during a meeting Thursday.

Didier Grumbach, president of the French Fashion Federation, said he will respond to von Furstenberg’s letter by saying that they will stick to what was decided last year, which is that Paris will start four days later beginning in 2009, not on a Sunday but a Thursday, a day after Milan. “As far as we are concerned, we confirm that we’ll start four days later,” he said, referring to a decision made last year by von Furstenberg and Boselli. “We decided that last year, and we still plan to do it.”

Von Furstenberg’s proposal includes that, beginning in 2010, the calendar be permanently changed so that New York always begins on the second Friday of every February and September, with London, Milan and Paris following accordingly. Steven Kolb, the CFDA’s executive director, told WWD last week that the 2010 proposal shouldn’t be difficult to implement. “It’s far enough down the road that it shouldn’t influence any commitments people have for 2008 and 2009. That to us is a really important step.”

This story first appeared in the December 11, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Kolb added, “We have to state what works for us and what’s important for us, and if that creates a dialogue, then all the better.”