Vera Wang

In time for the height of red carpet season, the triumvirate of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Variety and Women’s Wear Daily are joining forces for the “Runway to Red Carpet” initiative.

WWD and Variety are both owned by Penske Media Corp.

Starting on Feb. 20, American designers, including up-and-comers, will be spotlighted in a by-appointment showcase in the Fred Segal Sunset store in Los Angeles. That same day, “Runway to Red Carpet” will be celebrated at a celebrity-heavy luncheon at Chateau Marmont, where CFDA board member Vera Wang will serve as guest host. The designer will also share the stage with WWD West Coast bureau chief Marcy Medina to give a behind-the-scenes view of all sorts of red-carpet subjects. Wang has dressed numerous VIPs over the years for both red carpet events and weddings, including Meryl Streep at last month’s Golden Globes and Diane Kruger at the Critics’ Choice awards.

A host committee of stylists including Law Roach, Elizabeth Stewart, Cristina Ehrlich and Karla Welch will also attend.

Running through March 3, the day before the Academy Awards, stylists and members of the entertainment industry will be able to schedule appointments in the showroom space. Those looking to dress their clients will find items from Christian Siriano, Cushnie et Ochs, Fleur du Mal, Tome, Juan Carlos Obando, Brock Collection, Chloe Gosselin, Sachin & Babi and Jennifer Fisher in the newly opened expanded store. The Gathery and KCD will assist with production and public relations, respectively.

The nominees aren’t the only ones who have a lot to gain at the upcoming Oscars on March 4. While the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements prompted questions at the Golden Globes, SAG awards and other recent events beyond “Who are you wearing?” the Oscars can still have a Cinderella effect for designers. Last year, 32.9 million viewers tuned into the Academy Awards, according to Statista. Jimmy Kimmel will again host this year’s event.

“The red carpet continues to present a powerful way to show one’s designs to a worldwide audience,” said Steven Kolb, president and chief executive officer of the CFDA. “The partnership with WWD and Variety on an awards showcase featuring CFDA talent introduces stylists to exciting American designers and builds on our mission to strengthen the impact of American fashion globally.”

Just as the CFDA brings the design talent, Variety will provide its own insiders. Variety Group publisher and chief revenue officer Michelle Sobrino-Stearns said, “Variety’s unique position in the entertainment industry allows us unprecedented access to the talent, producers and executives who frequent Hollywood award shows. We are excited to partner with WWD and the CFDA to shine a light on American designers who will without a doubt influence this year’s red carpet.”

WWD editorial director James Fallon said, “WWD has given a platform to countless emerging designers and top American talent over the past century. To be able to partner with both the CFDA and Variety allows us to not only spotlight new talent in the epicenter of awards season, but also celebrate American fashion amongst the celebrities, stylists and influencers we regularly depict in the pages of WWD.”

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