The CFDA, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, sort of the United Nations for labels and essentially the "face" of the American fashion scene, might be getting a new chair. According to sources that spoke with Women's Wear Daily, current chairwoman Diane von Furstenberg is ready to leave the position after a successful thirteen-year tenure, and designer Tom Ford is ready to be named her successor. Per that article, the news could come as early as Tuesday, when the CFDA board will meet to vote.
This change, if it comes to pass, represents a continuation of the growth the CFDA has been experiencing for years. Ford is of a younger generation than von Furstenberg, though both are high-profile fashion stars with name recognition across income brackets. Former chairpeople, who were previously titled "presidents," include Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass and Perry Ellis.
In addition to his fashion work, Ford has also established himself as a feature filmmaker. He directed 2009's A Single Man and 2016's Nocturnal Animals, both of which were nominated for Academy Awards. As the fashion industry changes and expands thanks to social media and online shopping, perhaps it would behoove the Council to have a representative who is also a polymath.
If elected, Ford will be chairing a board that has recently become more proactive, and even activist. With events like Fashion's Night Out, initiatives aimed at keeping models healthy and a recent push for sustainability, the CFDA is increasingly taking on the "issues" of American fashion. Ford's no stranger to considering the issues. After switching to a vegan diet, he began to change the way he thought about using fur in his designs. As von Furstenberg told WWD last year, "Everything — publishing, magazines closing, merging — it’s a very, very different scenery, and we are right in the middle of it." Good luck, Mr. Ford!
Related: Tom Ford Reveals He Is Vegan, and Is Now Conflicted About Fur
Backstage at the Tom Ford FW19 show during New York Fashion Week on Wednesday, February 6th, 2019. Photograph by Serichai Traipoom for W Magazine.
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