CFDA launches network connecting regional fashion organizations
The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) has announced the launch of CFDA Connects, a programming network aiming to support regional fashion weeks and organizations across the United States.
The network seeks to promote American fashion by skill sharing and connecting domestic regional markets with the wider fashion industry, both on a national and an international level. In order to do so, the initiative will leverage CFDA resources covering professional and business development and education, trade events, supply chain and local manufacturing, social impact and sustainability.
Members of the network will be given access to Runway360, the website launched by the CFDA as the digital home of American fashion collections in September of last year. This will allow design talent from across the U.S. to be centralized on a single platform, facilitating the discovery of brands and the provision of industry support, while also amplifying the voices of the regions involved.
At launch, CFDA Connects participants include 10 regional American fashion organizations: Columbus Fashion Council, Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator, Hawaii Fashion Week, Indiana Fashion Foundation, Kansas City Fashion Week, Miami Fashion Week, Philadelphia Fashion Week, Ragtrade Atlanta/Atlanta Fashion Week, Saint Louis Fashion Fund, and Texas Fashion Industry Initiative.
CFDA executives will meet regularly with representatives from each of these organizations, forming a collective of executives and founders who will engage in roundtables and discussions, as well as training and development activities. It is hoped that this will both encourage a sense of community in the national fashion industry and help amplify and strengthen participating organizations.
“Our organization serves the whole American fashion industry—all 50 states—and we are excited that CFDA Connects will collectively bond our industry and affiliates with the diverse and burgeoning small businesses that make up our country’s economy,” said CFDA CEO Steven Kolb in a release. “The symbiotic relationships will generate mutual support opportunities serving to everyone’s benefit, and the larger we grow our network, the stronger the American fashion industry becomes.”
The launch of CFDA Connects follows on the heels of the recent establishment of the Re: Generation Innovation Scholar Award, a $30,000 annual scholarship for innovation in sustainability launched by the CFDA in collaboration with the Swarovski Foundation in early April.
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