CFDA president Diane Von Furstenberg, who worked closely with former mayor Michael Bloomberg on initiatives to support New York’s fashion industry, hasn’t wasted any time cozying up to the new man in charge.
The New York Times sat in on a CFDA event with Bill de Blasio on Thursday, where seven local manufacturing businesses were awarded grants. Von Furstenberg took advantage of the opportunity: “I really welcome you with open arms,” she said at the event. “And we will all work for you, and we will all help you. Our industry brings a lot of jobs, our industry brings a lot of tourists, our industry brings a lot of glamour.”
De Blasio seemed to be on her side, declaring that he wants to bring more manufacturing back to New York, sharing that his grandmother once had a dress business on 35th Street and 5th Avenue in Manhattan.
In the end, it seemed like Steven Kolb and von Furstenberg were pretty pleased with how things went. Kolb said de Blasio was “engaged” and “funny,” while von Furstnberg was less subtle: “I love him,” she said. “I love him. I think he’s great.”
But things may be more awkward than what they seem. Von Furstenberg, Anna Wintour and several other fashion industry leaders put their money (literally) on de Blasio opponent Christine Quinn leading up to the election. Maybe that’s not such an issue, but one thing is clear: He is definitely someone the CFDA, and the fashion industry as a whole, wants on its side. So, while it remains to be seen whether de Blasio will embrace fashion the way Bloomberg ultimately did, a little gushing and seducing probably doesn’t hurt for now.