The CFDA Effect

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I recently interviewed an emerging designer who is known for bold color and silhouettes in her collections. While her pieces were selling briskly abroad, she and I spoke about why she felt they weren't as popular in the US. "Well, it's kind of a CFDA world, you know?" she said while I nodded in sad agreement. The underlying assumption is that CFDA designers have a certain uniform "look" that lands them in the pages of Vogue or on the floor of department stores such as Bergdorf Goodman. In other words, "ladies who lunch" looks with a bit of design to keep things interesting, never bold, and never innovative.

But recently, I found myself scrolling through the members page of the CFDA website and... color me pleasantly surprised!


Love by Richard Chai Spring 2010 courtesy of Style.com

The designers who make up this elite group are not only a more diverse bunch than I had assumed but many are cited today as true innovators in the global fashion community.

They are the ones:

Marc Jacobs Spring 2010 courtesy of Style.com


Rodarte Spring 2010 courtesy of Style.com


Zero + Maria Cornejo Pre-Fall 2010 courtesy of Style.com

Regular readers of this blog know how much I love independent and emerging fashion designers, and I never expected to come to this simple conclusion: that there are many CFDA designers out there making cool things happen. So the real question is: has my taste become more "mature" or has the aesthetic of the CFDA started to shift? Are you as surprised as I am? Do you have any favorite CFDA designers? Thoughts? I'd love to hear them.

31 comments:

thimbles and gingham said...

love that richard chai dress! i don't know much about cfda but i'd like to learn more.

The Owl's Closet said...

i agree, cfda designers are definitely more diverse these days:) i admire marc jacobs and his creativity:)

TheOwlsCloset.blogspot.com

Elise said...

love the colours in these pictures.

Nina said...

CFDA designers certainly have my vote should they need it!

Left you an award at my post just now. How can I not? You're my daily stop!

Looking Fab in your forties said...

I need to look more closely at the bags by Alexander Wang and Proenza Schouler as I don't really think of them as being designers of IT bags, so that should prove interesting. Hope I don't find anything I like too much!

AudreyAllure said...

such talented designers!

Taylor Sterling said...

they do have such great designs and amazing talent!!

Style (R)evolution said...

Amazing designers!

thegoodgirlgoneblog.com said...

love the ruffles- they're my favorite trend right now :)

Jade "Purple" Brown said...

i love your blog, its so informative!

jadepurplebrown.blogspot.com

WendyB said...

A CFDA award sure isn't a promise of success. It's like an Oscar...no guarantee. You still have to get jobs after.

InnyVinny said...

I think there may have been a shift, but like WendyB said, an award isn't a promise of success. A definite step in the right direction, but no promises.

StuddedLilly said...

love love love marc jacob's spring 2010 collection, its just so feminine with enough drama!
thanks for sharing!

xo

MissNeira said...

I love that 1st dress, so perfect for summer


----
enter my jewelry giveaway!

http://missneira.blogspot.com/2010/01/perpetual-anastasia-jewelry-giveway.html

tenthings. said...

wow! gorgeous post!

Susan said...

love that first dress so much!
have a sweet day, xoxo

WM said...

I TOTALLY LOVE THE FIRST DRESS!!! NICE OUTFITS!!! WM.

WWW.WASHMACH.COM

OceanDreams said...

So excited for fashion week, these dresses are absolutely amazing!

PinkBow said...

i love ruffles, some great pics

Thumbelina Fashionista said...

I love Proenza Schouler (I want everything from their spring collection), Wayne (must have those leggings and yellow vest), and Rodarte (even though I can't afford anything of theirs). I didn't know about that underlying assumption. Interesting.

Mish Dish said...

Peter Som's last collection was really fresh and inspiring. Check it out if you are not familar with it. His new jewelry line is amazing as well. xo Mish

www.themishdish.blogspot.com

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

Great group of designers. Perhaps with each passing year and the desire to be "fashionable" there is a desire to innovate as well so some really cool, edgy designers get into the mix more and more often.

Winnie said...

I'm in love with that first dress, the ruffles, the grey! Amazing!

Savvy Gal said...

I have no loyalty. I just pick pieces I like. : ) Btw, I was so mad that guy called me high maintenance. What the heck right!

Karissa said...

Wow I love your blog! I'm glad I found it from you following me on twitter! Great article. I love Marc Jacobs & Marc by Marc Jacobs but I also like smaller designers.
Here's an interview I did with the designer of Flowersophy: http://www.fashionistafiles.com/Exclusive-Upcoming-Designer-Moment-7137761

alexkeller said...

LOVE that first dress!!!!

Chessa! said...

yes..I have been following this blog for a long time and I know your love and respect for emerging designers...and I can credit you for my growing love of them!

Denise @ Swelle said...

Great post. I love Richard Chai (his leather jackets are To Die For), and I think Rodarte and Marc Jacobs goes without saying. Just when I think MJ is bottoming out or saving his imagination for LV he goes and gives us something exhilarating like his SS 2010 collection.

I do feel uneasy about the whole CFDA/Vogue domination in fashion when, as we see first hand every day, there are so many exciting indie designers who deserve the spotlight far more than much of what's put in our faces. But you're right, at least there's something there for us. And hopefully as we go forward the smaller, more adventurous brands will be leading the pack rather than being the little brothers and sisters tagging along.

Erin said...

Cute post! Yes I'm glad for the reminder that the CFDA is an increasingly diverse group of designers! Wish they made it more accessible for those starting out.

Hanako66 said...

this is so interesting. i never think to look of who exactly comprises the cfda!

wendy's comment made me lol...(as usual:)

lucy said...

fantastic collection, love them all very much

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