The Council of Fashion Designers of America was founded in 1962 by Eleanor Lambert. The aim is to bring designers out of the back rooms of 7th Avenue and into the spotlight. Its mission was to help put American fashion on the map.

A native of Crawfordsville, Indiana, Lambert studied sculpture and created fashion sketches and fashion reports before leading her to New York where she held roles such as press director at the Whitney Museum of American Art and New York press director. dress laboratory.

In 1942, Lambert presented the first press week for designers, a suggested time for designers to complete their collections to serve a targeted array of buyers across the United States, and the first, the predecessor of the CFDA Awards. headed the Coty Awards for By the 1960s, more than 200 buyers had attended his collections for the New York season, rivaling the number of show attendees in Paris. Designers like Bill Blass and Geoffrey Beene had gotten out of the backroom, but the feeling that 7th Avenue was dominated by businessmen and manufacturers still prevailed.

At the time, Senator Claiborne Pell and Rep. Jacob Javits approached Lambert about joining the development of the National Arts Council to promote painting, music, dance and fashion in the United States. American he wanted the involvement of non-profit organizations, not commercial industries or businesses, in the case of art.

Lambert brought together a group of designers including Brass, Norman Norell, Jane Darby, Luis Estevez, Rudy Gernreich, Donald Brooks, Arnold Scarsi, Sidney Laghe, and Ben Zuckerman to form CFDA.according to Proposed on December 6, 1962, its charter “further elevated the status of fashion design as a recognized branch of American art and culture” and “improved its artistic and professional standards.” was the mission. Within a month, other designers had joined.

In a 2000 WWD interview, Lambert recalled: We were a group of people equally qualified and equally minded about moving forward. There is a difference between a businessman and an artist. At the time, I was representing a coat manufacturer, and I was upset that he wasn’t at our meeting, so I asked him. I never met him,” he replied, adding, “He’s in the back room. Is that where he’s supposed to be?

The change in perception was almost instant. Before the CFDA, the largest trade association was the New York Couture Group, which only admitted manufacturers as members. While many of them were content with the practice of traveling to Paris each season to buy gowns from couture and make line-by-line copies, Lambert sent a large contingent to join the CFDA. I persuaded him to break up.

“The main thing was to keep creative designers out. ‘Creative’ was a very important word back then,” Arnold Scaasi once recalled. “When she did it, it worked really well.”

Lambert was instrumental in organizing American fashion events around the world, including the 1973 “Battle of Versailles” designer showoff, putting American talent on the world’s fashion radar.Bill BlassOscar de la Renta, Halston, Stephen Burroughs and Anne Klein have performed in America, while Pierre Cardin, Hubert de Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Emmanuel Ungaro and Marc Bohan of Christian Dior have performed in Paris.

Lambert received the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award in 1988 and the CFDA Industry Tribute Award in 1993. She died in 2003 when she was 100 years old.

Today, the CFDA has grown to include over 500 of America’s top womenswear, menswear and accessories designers.

In addition to hosting the annual CFDA Awards, which recognize top talent in the industry, the organization owns the fashion calendar and hosts New York Fashion Week: Men’s.of CFDA offers programs that support professional development and scholarship, including the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, Geoffrey Been Design Scholarship Award, and Liz Claiborne Design Scholarship Award.

In 2013, the Fashion Manufacturing Initiative was established to grow, improve and sustain New York City’s apparel production. Member support is provided through the Strategic Partnerships Group, a high-profile corporate group that provides strategic opportunities for designers.

The CFDA Foundation Inc. is another non-profit organization organized to mobilize members to raise funds for charitable purposes. Through this foundation, CFDA created and manages the global Fashion Target Breast Cancer Initiative, raised funds for HIV and AIDS organizations at previous events such as Fashion’s Night Out and 7th on Sale, and modeled at CFDA Health Initiatives. of health problems.





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