NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: Five-hundred-and-four. To date, that’s the total membership of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, including the addition of 40 new faces inducted into the organization earlier this year.
On Wednesday night, Tory Burch hosted the annual New Members cocktail party at her sprawling apartment in the Pierre Hotel to toast the newest inductees, many of whom traveled uptown for the evening. Among them: Wes Gordon, Thaddeus O’Neil, Aurora James of Brother Vellies, Lisa Kulson and Ben Stubbington of Theory, Timo Weiland, Jennifer Zuccarini of Fleur du Mal, Anna Sheffield, Stuart Vevers of Coach, and Matthew, Samantha and Alex Orley of Orley. (Other new members — including Sophia Amoruso, Brandon Maxwell, Rosetta Getty and Jeremy Scott and more — were not present.)
It was a full day for the designers, who started at 10 a.m. with an orientation and various membership meetings. “It’s so gracious of Tory to have us here tonight,” said Steven Kolb, the CFDA’s president and chief executive officer. “Many of the designers that become part of the CFDA are in the early part of their career, and they are really working hard and looking towards the future. When you are hosted by someone like Tory — who’s had that same struggle and who’s had great success — it’s a bit of motivation. It’s like: ‘She started where we are, and now she’s become a really major brand.’ The light at the end of the tunnel is there. And that’s not to say that a brand like Tory’s and others that are more established don’t still have challenges; they just have different kinds of challenges. I think that’s what this is about, that success is possible.”
Burch — who was spotted mingling with new members Adam and Ryan Goldston, the brothers behind footwear brand Athletic Propulsion Labs — had a few pieces of advice for the newbies in the room. “Negativity is noise,” she said. “You have to believe in yourself. Take measured risks. When the macro environment is tough, be smart about risk, but believe in who you are and what you’re doing.”