CFDA Debates Pros and Cons of Fashion Week

Yesterday, the members of the CFDA held an open house of sorts to air their grievances about fashion week and current trends within the industry at large. Needless to say, there was a lot of kvetching.

The retailers are marking down like crazy, fashion week's too expensive, there are a million "seasons" (from holiday to resort to summer, etc.) -- there were a million reasons the members had to be frustrated with the current system. But CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg was quick to take the defensive: "There is no way when you are in the middle of a tsunami that you can change absolutely everything,” she said. "I always like to look for the light at the end of the tunnel, and see how we can grow from there."

Tons of designers came to forum yesterday, including Proenza Schouler's Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, Betsey Johnson, Francisco Costa, and Donna Karan, who was quick to note that the fashion world (and the world at large) is "in a crisis."

Among the suggestions voiced during the open forum: moving back delivery dates and focusing on "wear-now" products to increase sell-through rates, staging a flashy show at Madison Square Garden (Betsey Johnson's idea, of course), and our personal favorite, creating ground rules for an official start date when retailers could start discounting merchandise.

Why was that our favorite suggestion? Because it came from Anna Wintour, who noted (when someone challenged the legality of the concept), "We have friends in the White House now.” Snap!

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