The CFDA announces plans for new and improved digital Fashion Calendar
All change, all change!
Following the CFDA's acquisition of the Fashion Calendar in October last year, the industry has been anticipating the positive changes the new ownership would bring, with CFDA president Diane Von Furstenberg noting at the time: "The Fashion Calendar has been one of the foundations of our industry, ensuring that the press, retailers and designers are able to come together in an efficient manner. Now that it is part of the CFDA, we are prepared and excited to take it into the new world."
The new dawn has finally arrived, with the all-new CFDA Fashion Calendar debuting its online-only iteration on Tuesday. The master list of American fashion scheduling was founded by Ruth Finley, who remained the steward of the project since its inception in 1945. Under the CFDA's new ownership, the first thing the council did was bring it up to date – taking the previously bimonthly print publication digital.
The revamped calendar is now featured on the CFDA's official website, with changes that aim to provide a more organised calendar, that is crucially – user-friendly. The digital calendar is similar to other tools such as Google's calendar or Outlook, and the new software allows the calendar to be viewed by month, week and day and events list the time, location and contact information. An App version is not available yet, however.
There are many subscription packages to choose from – yearly ($550 with four free listings and a discounted rate for additional listings), specific market weeks ($150) or for single listings ($325).
The CFDA have also provided a search filter tool so that individual events can be easily searched by name or category. Users can also export favourite events and save them to their own personal Google or Outlook calendars, the new CFDA Fashion Calendar is also Google Maps friendly.
The CFDA's CEO Steven Kolb also hinted that collaborations with Fashion GPS, and other useful tools like Uber and the MTA and the New York mayor's office might be in the works for the future.
Naturally, the CFDA Fashion Calendar's main focus is to streamline New York Fashion Week and ensure there are no clashes in the schedule. Event organisers will be able to submit a listing and immediately see if their are any schedule conflicts. There is a lenient approval process involved also, but now that the Fashion Calendar is under the CFDA's control the question is whether the council will be more managerial in its approach – and seperate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.
Kolb noted: “I don’t think you can go backward and tell people who have been on the calendar season after season, ‘Guess what, we decided you’re no longer able to show,’” adding: “It’s a bit subjective in determining who should or shouldn’t show.” He also said that come Septemeber this year, new users would have to go through a review process before being granted access: “It will be a soft review, but we’re really going to look to make sure it’s a real business and it’s an appropriate fit."
And even though a huge schedule 'crackdown' may not be feasible in the near future, Kolb also noted that for the upcoming Autumn/Winter 15 season the council weren't afraid to use the word "no" – especially when it came to (the often grumbled-about) issue of designers all showing at the same time.
“I was nervous,” Kolb said. “But power people who said, ‘I have to have this slot and this time,’ — when we’ve said no and said no with confidence, they’ve respected that.”
New York Fashion Week (NYFW) recently lost its title sponsor – Mercedes-Benz, and is currently without a "home" following its departure from the Lincoln Center. However, with the new CFDA-owned Fashion Calendar shaping up to be a more streamlined, modern tool and an exciting new venue for NYFW currently under construction, the future is certainly looking brighter for the American Fashion Week...