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At CFDA Town Hall Meeting, Future of Fashion Week Contemplated

>> This morning, the CFDA held its first town hall meeting, moderated by CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg, to discuss whether Fashion Week is still relevant.  Many attendees agreed with Proenza Schouler's Jack McCollough, who voiced his concern: "There seems to be a disconnect. For us, the shows have become a press thing. It’s on blogs; magazines pull straight from the runways; and by the time it’s in stores, it feels sort of old."

Donna Karan, who has long been a proponent of selling and showing clothes in season, also wondered about the timeliness of the shows: "We are in a crisis. There's no question about it . . . We spend so much money on shows, but what is it getting us?”

Anna Wintour suggests something illegal »

In reply, Diane von Furstenberg pointed out, "People want shows. The photos travel. So . . . I don’t know.” But she remains optimistic: "There is no way when you are in the middle of a tsunami that you can change absolutely everything. But one thing that we can do and that I would like to do is make New York Fashion Week the most dynamic fashion week in the world."  She hopes that a solution can be found and organized by September 2010. “Maybe there can be a Fashion Week that says trade and another one that says shop?” 

While some were considering the possibility of fashion shows for consumers, Anna Wintour piped up, concerned with the premature discounting that has been happening at the retailer level: “Could someone lead a committee that would make ground rules for retailers of when the discounting starts, and then all the retailers can agree to it?” Von Furstenberg informed her that that would be illegal, but Wintour was not deterred: “Is that something we can change? We have friends in the White House now!” Finally, DVF considered the suggestion: “Anything is possible.”

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