In Discussion With: CFDA’s Steven Kolb
As the industry wrestles with big questions, the Council of Fashion Designers of America has often been looked to as something of a professed think tank for American fashion. With its some 500 members, including Chairwoman Diane von Furstenberg, and everyone from Abloh to Wang (Alexander and Vera), only a handful of bodies operate with the same vantage point as the not-for-profit trade association. Its influence has framed and buoyed fashion not just in America, but globally, working alongside other trade associations such as the British Fashion Council and the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode. Initiatives, charities and rallying members – these efforts are led by its chief executive, Steven Kolb.
Since his induction as CEO in 2011, he’s helped realize ongoing programs like the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund (its 10 finalists were just announced), The Geoffrey Beene Scholarship, campaigns with Planned Parenthood and the ACLU, a comprehensive Health Initiative, releasing reports on gender inequalities and immigration policy and more. Lately, Kolb’s name has made headlines as he experiments with New York’s Fashion Calendar, which the CFDA acquired in 2014, or dubbing Supreme’s James Jebbia Menswear Designer of the Year. Unlike many of his compatriots, Kolb isn’t cut from fashion’s cloth, but rather non-profits like the American Cancer Society, DIFFA, and MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation, which he worked as the founding executive director. In this original video co-produced by Models.com in collaboration with Ford Models, Christopher Michael sits down with Steven Kolb to discuss the future of fashion.
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