Fashion Avenue | How Designers Will Be Affected By A Shorten New York Fashion Week

Tom Ford’s first act as CFDA chairman addresses longstanding calls for a shorter fashion week. The goal is to attract more international buyers and editors, and reverse an exodus of prominent designers.

Starting this September for the Spring/Summer 2020 season, runway shows and presentations will last five days and five nights instead of the current seven-day, eight-night format, according to the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). The shorter week will run from the evening of Friday, September 6 through Wednesday night, September 11.

The condensed schedule marks Tom Ford’s first major move in his new post as CFDA chairman, and addresses one of the chief critiques of New York Fashion Week – that it drags on longer than its equivalents in other cities, increasingly without the roster of marquee brands that drag international press and buyers to those events.

Tom Ford could not be immediately reached for comment.

The decision was welcomed by some larger brands that show in New York.

Ford’s official tenure as chairman begins in early June, succeeding Diane von Fursternburg in her 13-year term.

The CFDA, with a stated mission to “strengthen the impact of American fashion in the global economy”, aims to cultivate the community of designers in the US through awards, scholarships, mentorship, networking opportunities and, most notably, a showcase for their work at New York Fashion Week.

In recent years, the council has come under fire for not adequately providing support to its 500-odd members, especially those who are mid-career. Currently, the organization offers young labels high-profile awards such as the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund – which grants winners $400,000 and two runners up $150.000 every year – and numerous guides to running a business, such as its sustainable materials index and the Elaine Gold Launch Pad program,  a residency that supports emerging and young design talent.

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