The CFDA, with financial support from Tommy Hilfiger, brought a group of ten of the past CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists and winning designers to participate in a shared showroom space during Paris Fashion Week for three days. The designers selected included Billy Reid, Eddie Borgo, George Esquivel, Gregory Parkinson, Monique Péan, Ohne Titel, Pamela Love, Prabal Gurung, Simon Spurr, and Sophie Théallet. The space, at the Galerie Joyce at the Palais Royal, along with highlighting the Spring 2012 collections of these designers also displayed limited edition tote bags created by them, which are being sold at Tommy Hilfiger stores and on Tommy.com, and will benefit the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund.
The general sentiment among designers who participated was that the opportunity enabled them to be exposed to a bigger audience. In a virtual world where runway shows are livestreamed and fashion show images are available instantly, this highlights the importance, especially for rising star designers, of spending face time with press and buyers.
The effort also underscores the growing role of the CFDA and Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who visited the showroom alongside Susan Tolson, the wife of the U.S. Ambassador to France, in supporting America’s emerging design talent in a variety of ways. Along with offering a physical space to the designers, the showroom provided them with sales, marketing and media support.
This group of ten weren’t the only U.S. based designers who decamped to Paris for fashion week. Bibhu Mohapatra, Alexander Wang and a host of others re-showed their collection via appointment.