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Council of Fashion Designers of America

Council of Fashion Designers of America

The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc. (CFDA), founded in 1962 by publicist Eleanor Lambert,[2] is a not-for-profit trade association of over 450 American fashion and accessory designers. The organization promotes American designers in the global economy.

Council of Fashion Designers of America
The CFDA is based out of the Bayard–Condict Building in Lower Manhattan
Formation1962 (1962)
FounderEleanor Lambert
TypeTrade association
Legal statusNonprofit organization
PurposeTo strengthen the impact of American fashion in the global economy
Membership (2019)
Tom Ford
CEO & President
Steven Kolb

In addition to hosting the annual CFDA Fashion Awards, the organization develops future American design talent through scholarships and resources in high schools, colleges, and post-graduate schools. The CFDA also provides funding and business opportunities for working designers. Through the CFDA Foundation, the organization supports charitable causes.


The first president of the CFDA was Sydney Wragge[3] (from 1962 until 1965). Steven Kolb is the CEO and president since 2006. As of June 2019, Tom Ford is the group's chairman; he follows Diane von Furstenberg who served as chairman for 13 years.[4]

The following people were founding members of the CFDA, from 1962:

CFDA Fashion Awards

The CFDA Fashion Awards was founded in 1980 with the first awards in 1981 and honors excellence in fashion design.[8] The CFDA Fashion Awards is an organized event created by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. They honor and showcase the excellence in fashion design in America. It has been called "the Oscars of fashion".[9][10] Prior to the establishment of the CFDA Awards, the Coty Awards filled a similar role until they ended in 1985, with the final Coty Awards given in September 1984.[11][12] In 1997, the CFDA Awards made a decision in order to open its doors to younger, upcoming designers.[13][14]

Nominations are submitted by the Fashion Guild, a group of over 1,500 CFDA members, fashion editors, retailers, and stylists.[15] Award winners are voted on and announced at an annual black tie event held at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. Award winners receive a trophy made by the New York firm Society Awards.[16]

CFDA Fashion Award winners
Year Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award Womenswear Award Menswear Award Emerging Talent Award
for Ready-to-Wear
International Award Notes
1981 Fernando Sanchez Jhane Barnes [17]
1984 James Galanos
1985 Katharine Hepburn
1986 Bill Blass
1987 Giorgio Armani Ronaldus Shamask Marc Jacobs
1988 Richard Avedon; Nancy Reagan Bill Robinson
1989 Oscar de la Renta Isaac Mizrahi Joseph Abboud [18]
1990 Martha Graham Donna Karan Joseph Abboud Christian Francis Roth
1991 Ralph Lauren Isaac Mizrahi Roger Forsythe Karl Lagerfeld
( Germany) for Chanel
1996 Shew York Daryl Kerrigan for Daryl K ( womenswear)
1997 Geoffrey Beene Marc Jacobs John Bartlett John Galliano
( Great Britain) for Dior
1999 Yves Saint Laurent Michael Kors Calvin Klein Yohji Yamamoto
( Japan)
2000 Valentino Oscar de la Renta Helmut Lang Miguel Adrover (womenswear) and
John Varvatos (menswear)
Jean-Paul Gaultier
( France)
2001 Calvin Klein Tom Ford John Varvatos Daphne Gutierrez and Nicole Noselli
for Bruce (womenswear) and
William Reid (menswear)
Nicolas Ghesquiere
( France) for Balenciaga
2002 Karl Lagerfeld Narciso Rodriguez Marc Jacobs Rick Owens Hedi Slimane
( France)
for Dior Homme
2003 Anna Wintour Narciso Rodriguez Michael Kors Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough
for Proenza Schouler
Alexander McQueen
( Great Britain)
2004 Donna Karan Carolina Herrera Sean Combs
for Sean John
Zac Posen Miuccia Prada
( Italy)
2005 Diane von Fürstenberg Vera Wang John Varvatos Derek Lam (womenswear) and
Alexandre Plokhov for Cloak (menswear)
Alber Elbaz
( Israel)
for Lanvin
2006 Stan Herman Francisco Costa
for Calvin Klein
Thom Browne Doo-Ri Chung (womenswear)
and Jeff Halmos, Josia Lamberto-Egan,
Sam Shipley, & John Whitledge
for Trovata (menswear)
Olivier Theyskens
( Belgium)
for Rochas
2007 Robert Lee Morris Oscar de la Renta, and Lazaro Hernandez &
Jack McCollough for Proenza Schouler
Ralph Lauren Phillip Lim (womenswear)
and David Neville & Marcus Wainwright for Rag & Bone
Pierre Cardin
( France)
2008 Carolina Herrera Francisco Costa
for Calvin Klein
Tom Ford Kate and Laura Mulleavy Rodarte (w); Scott Sternberg for Band of Outsiders (m); Philip Crangi (a) Dries van Noten
( Belgium)
2009 Anna Sui Kate & Laura Mulleavy for Rodarte Scott Sternberg for Band of Outsiders and Italo Zucchelli for Calvin Klein Collection Alexander Wang (womenswear); Tim Hamilton (menswear); Justin Giunta for Subversive Jewelry (accessories) Marc Jacobs
( United States)
for Louis Vuitton
2010 Michael Kors Marc Jacobs Marcus Wainwright and David Neville for rag & bone Jason Wu (womenswear); Richard Chai (menswear); Alexander Wang (accessories) Christopher Bailey
( Great Britain) for Burberry
2011 Marc Jacobs Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough for Proenza Schouler Michael Bastian Prabal Gurung (womenswear); Robert Geller (menswear); Eddie Borgo (accessories) Phoebe Philo
( Great Britain) for Céline
2012 Tommy Hilfiger Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row Billy Reid Joseph Altuzarra (womenswear); Phillip Lim (menswear); Tabitha Simmons (accessories) Rei Kawakubo
( Japan) for Comme des Garçons
2013 Vera Wang Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler Thom Browne Juan Carlos Obando (womenswear); Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne for Public School (menswear); Marc Alary (accessories) Riccardo Tisci
( Italy) for Givenchy
2014 Tom Ford Joseph Altuzarra Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne for Public School Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters for Creatures of the Wind (womenswear); Tim Coppens (menswear); Irene Neuwirth (accessories) Raf Simons
( Belgium) for Dior
2015 Betsey Johnson Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row Tom Ford Rosie Assoulin (womenswear); Shayne Oliver for Hood by Air (menswear); Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel for Mansur Gavriel (accessories) Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli
( Italy) for Valentino
2016 Norma Kamali Marc Jacobs Thom Browne Brandon Maxwell (womenswear); Alex Orley, Matthew Orley, and Samantha Orley (menswear); Paul Andrew (accessories) Alessandro Michele
( Italy) for Gucci
2017 Rick Owens Raf Simons for Calvin Klein Raf Simons for Calvin Klein Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia for Monse Demna Gvasalia
( Georgia) for Vetements and Balenciaga
2018 Narciso Rodriguez Raf Simons for Calvin Klein Supreme Sander Lak for Sies Marjan Donatella Versace
( Italy)
2019 Bob Mackie Brandon Maxwell Rick Owens Sarah Burton, for Alexander McQueen [23][24]
2020 Gabriela Hearst Kerby Jean-Raymond for Pyer Moss Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino (women's design)
Kim Jones for Dior (men's design)


In 2010 the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists Monique Péan, Patrik Ervell, and Sophie Theallet teamed up with Gap Inc.[26] In 2012 and 2013 the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winners and runners-up each created capsule collections with J. Crew.

In celebration of the organization's 50th Anniversary, Target and Neiman Marcus partnered with 24 CFDA members to create a special holiday collection that was available at both retailers. Additionally, the CFDA has partnered with Kohl's on designer collaborations such as Derek Lam for Kohl's and most recently, Catherine Malandrino for Kohl's.

On October 3, 2013, the CFDA and Google+ launched an innovative shopping tool, titled "Shoppable Hangouts", where users had the ability to shop Hangouts on Air (HOA). The CFDA kicked off the product launch with CFDA President Diane von Fürstenberg. Rachel Zoe, Marcus Wainwright and David Neville of rag & bone, and Rebecca Minkoff also participated in the Shoppable Hangout experience.


CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund

The CFDA and Vogue Magazine have created an endowment for the stated purpose of funding significant financial awards to one or more designers and provide business mentoring. Award recipients are selected by a committee of industry experts.

The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Selection Committee annually selects three emerging fashion designers, who receive:

  1. Business mentoring from an established team of fashion industry professionals, in areas such as business planning, marketing, sourcing, production, exporting etc.
  2. To encourage and enable the recipients to pursue his/her own independent design plan (one winner at $300,000 and two runners-up at $100,000 each).

Notable past finalists include:


The CFDA {FASHION INCUBATOR} is a business development program designed to support the next generation of fashion designers in New York City. The program provides a creative professional environment with the mission of helping to grow and sustain the businesses of the 10 participating brands over the course of the two-year program. By offering low-cost design studio space, business mentoring, educational seminars, and networking opportunities, the program provides a way for participants to reach their full potential and become an integral part of the New York Fashion community. In 2010, the program partnered with New York University's Stern School of Business to create a Masters Workshop that pairs their top MBA Students with the designers to work on business development projects.

Successful alumni of the Incubator program include Prabal Gurung and the 2013 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winners, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School.

The 4.0 class (2016-2018) of the {FASHION INCUBATOR} includes Alexandra Alvarez of Alix, Aurora James of Brother Vellies, Charles Youssef, Daniel DuGoff of Ddugoff, Tim Joo and Dan Joo of Haerfest, Jason Alkire and Julie Alkire of Haus Alkire, Ji Oh, Katie deGuzman and Michael Miller of K/ller Collection, Thaddeus O’Neil, and Molly Yestadt of Yestadt Millinery.[33]

Fashion Manufacturing Initiative

The Fashion Manufacturing Initiative (FMI) is an investment fund to help revitalize New York City's garment industry. The program offers matching financial grants to New York City's fashion manufacturing production facilities.

In March 2018, the CFDA and NYCA announced that the following seven production facilities would receive a combined total of $480,000 in the fifth round of FMI grants: Atelier Amelia, Sunrise Studio, In Style USA, Mudo Fashion, New York Embroidery Studio, Season Wash, and Werkstatt.[34]

Fashion Targets Breast Cancer

Fashion Targets Breast Cancer® (FTBC), a charitable initiative of the CFDA/CFDA Foundation, seeks to raise public awareness and funds for the breast cancer cause.

The Fashion Targets Breast Cancer name and symbol were created by Ralph Lauren and subsequently entrusted to the CFDA Foundation. FTBC was first presented in the U.S. in the spring of 1994 during New York Fashion Week, and was formally launched in September 1994 at a special White House reception hosted by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton. During this initial campaign, 400,000 FTBC shirts were sold, raising $2 million to benefit the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Health at the Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center.[35] This center was chosen as beneficiary at Ralph Lauren's request, in memory of his friend Nina Hyde, the former fashion editor of The Washington Post, who died of breast cancer in 1990.

Since 2011, the council has led an annual campaign to promote the initiative and partners with well known fashion icons. In 2017, Fabletics partnered with Fashion Targets Breast Cancer to produce an activewear collection. A portion of all sales for the collection would be donated to target breast cancer screening and treatment.[36][37]

To date, nearly $50 million has been granted to breast cancer charities worldwide from FTBC campaigns.[38] CFDA Members have designed special FTBC branded or inspired merchandise, which was either sold or auctioned over the course of the campaign.

CFDA Scholarship Program

The Scholarship Program was created to award annual merit-based scholarship grants to students who study in a four-year, full-time college level design program. It has awarded $1,399,250 to students.[39] The Geoffrey Beene Design Scholarship Award, the Liz Claiborne Design Scholarship Award, and the CFDA/Teen Vogue Scholarship Award in partnership with Target selected scholars from one of the CFDA's 20 participating design schools and donated $25,000 towards tuition and educational expenses. The awards are based solely on merit and judged by a panel of industry experts.


The CFDA has published the following books, listed in order by publish date:

  • American Fashion Home
  • American Travel
  • Scheips, Charlie (2007). American Fashion. Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). Assouline Publishing. ISBN 978-2759401611.
  • Hastreiter, Kim; Beene, Geoffrey (2008). Geoffrey Beene: An American Fashion Rebel. Assouline Publishing. ISBN 9782759402663.
  • Pratts Price, Candy; Glasscock, Jessica; Tavee, Art (2008). American Fashion Accessories. Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). Assouline Publishing. ISBN 9782759402861.
  • Marsh, Lisa; Stewart, Martha (2009). American Fashion Cookbook. Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). Assouline Publisher. ISBN 9782759404056.
  • Bryan, Robert E. (2009). American Fashion Menswear. Assouline Publishing. ISBN 9782759404094.
  • Suqi, Rima A. (2010). American Fashion Designers at Home. Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). Assouline Publishing. ISBN 9782759404711.
  • Mears, Patricia (2012). IMPACT: 50 Years of the CFDA. Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 978-1419702310.
  • Von Furstenberg, Diane; Alba, Jessica (2014). The Pursuit of Style: Advice and Musings from America's Top Fashion Designers. Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 978-1419706219.
  • Systrom, Kevin; Kolb, Steven (2015). Designers on Instagram: #fashion. Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 978-1419715587.
  • Moore, Booth (2018). American Runway: 75 Years of Fashion and the Front Row. Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 978-1419726484.

See also


  1. "Current CFDA Membership Roster" (PDF). CDFA. Council of Fashion Designers of America. May 2019. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  2. Nemy, Enid (October 8, 2003). "Eleanor Lambert, Empress of Fashion, Dies at 100". The New York Times. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  3. CFDA. "History". CFDA. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  4. "Tom Ford to Head CFDA as New Chairman". Complex. Retrieved December 2, 2019.
  5. Sterlacci, Francesca; Arbuckle, Joanne (2017). Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 125–126. ISBN 9781442239098.
  6. "The Council of Fashion Designers of America - CFDA". Apparel Search. Retrieved December 2, 2019.
  7. Jacobs, Alexandra (May 27, 2015). "Luis Estévez, a CFDA Loss". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 2, 2019.
  8. "Everyone Who Took Home a Trophy at the 2019 CFDA Awards". Retrieved March 30, 2020. CFDA Awards. It all started back in 1980, and now, almost 40 years later, the show is still going strong.
  9. "The CFDA Fashion Awards: The 'Oscars of fashion'". CNN. June 4, 2013.
  10. CFDA awards, the Oscars of fashion 2009/06/15
  11. Blanco F, José; Doering, Mary D.; Hunt-Hurst, Patricia; Vaughan Lee, Heather (2015). Clothing and Fashion: American Fashion from Head to Toe (4 volumes): American Fashion from Head to Toe. ABC-CLIO. p. 96. ISBN 9781610693103.
  12. Stangenes, Sharon (1985). "Requiem For Coty Awards: An Era Ends". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  13. "Fashion Council Reaches a Crossroads". The New York Times. February 6, 1996. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
  14. "Designers' Council Opens Door a Bit". The New York Times. December 9, 1997. p. 14. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
  15. "2008 Annual Report" (PDF). Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  16. "On The Up And Up | PPAI Publications". December 31, 2014. Archived from the original on July 21, 2015. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  17. Mau, Dhani. "10 CFDA Winners You've Probably Never Heard Of". Fashionista. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  18. "Amid the Rustle of Finery, Fashion Celebrates Its Own". The New York Times. January 10, 1989. p. 33. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
  19. ELLE, Team (June 2, 2015). "CFDA Fashion Awards 2015: Red Carpet". ELLE. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  20. Yotka, Steff (June 6, 2016). "All the Winners From the 2016 CFDA Awards". Vogue. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  21. Yotka, Steff (June 5, 2017). "All the Winners and Honorees From the 2017 CFDA Fashion Awards". Vogue. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  22. Fisher, Lauren Alexis (June 5, 2018). "Supreme, Raf Simons, and Naomi Campbell Win CFDA Awards". Harper's BAZAAR. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  23. Farra, Emily (June 4, 2019). "All the Winners From the 2019 CFDA Awards". Vogue. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  24. Ilchi, Layla (June 3, 2019). "CFDA Fashion Awards 2019 Winners: See the Full List". WWD. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  25. All the Winners of the 2020 CFDA Fashion Awards - Barry Samaha, 14 September 2020
  26. "The Winner & Runners-Up of the 2013 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund". CFDA. November 12, 2013. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  27. Koblin, John (November 5, 2014). "CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Picks Paul Andrew as Winner". The New York Times. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  28. "At the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, Winning Isn't Everything". The Business of Fashion. November 2, 2015. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  29. "Announcing the 2017 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalists". July 17, 2017.
  30. Yotka, Steff (2017). "Telfar Wins the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund 2017". Vogue. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  31. Yotka, Steff (2018). "Introducing the 10 Finalists of the 2018 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund". Vogue. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  32. "Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss Wins the 2018 CFDA/'Vogue' Fashion Fund". Fashionista. 2018. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  33. Yotka, Steff (May 25, 2016). "This Is the Next Wave of Young American Designers". Vogue. Retrieved December 28, 2016.
  34. Scarano, Genevieve (March 2, 2018). "CFDA and NYCEDC Present Fifth Round of FMI Grant Fund Recipients". Sourcing Journal. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  35. Corporation, Brown-Forman. "Chambord Announce Partnership with the Iconic Designer Betsey Johnson and Fashion Targets Breast Cancer During October". Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  36. Eli Flesch. "Kate Hudson Launches Breast Cancer Awareness Collection with Fabletics". Stylecaster. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  37. Marcy Medina (September 27, 2017). "Kate Hudson unveils CFDA and Fabletics' Fashion Targets Breast Cancer collection". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  39. "CFDA Scholarship Program". Council of Fashion Designers of America. Retrieved June 25, 2015.

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