How the CFDA's Acquisition of the Fashion Calendar Will Change Fashion Week

Perhaps the biggest effects will be felt on the off seasons -- pre-fall and resort -- which are not formally scheduled in New York.
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Perhaps the biggest effects will be felt on the off seasons -- pre-fall and resort -- which are not formally scheduled in New York.
Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images

After 69 years under Ruth Finley's control, the Fashion Calendar -- the official schedule of fashion events and shows in New York, including Fashion Week -- will soon be in someone else's hands. The CFDA, which has been gradually asserting more control over NYFW over the past few years, announced Friday that it had officially acquired the Fashion Calendar. The transfer won't go into effect until October 1, so we won't see any major changes until the February 2015 (fall 2015) shows. Finley, who is over 90 years old, will stay on as a consultant.

“I see the acquisition of the Fashion Calendar by the CFDA as a natural transition for my business and at the CFDA, it will continue to play a vital role in the fashion industry as it has for the past 65 years,” Finley said in a statement. “The relationship between the Fashion Calendar and the CFDA has been strengthening over the past several years as we have worked more closely together in scheduling fashion week events."

While the Fashion Calendar will remain a paid subscription service, the CFDA already plans to implement a couple of big changes. One is that the scheduling of fashion shows and events will become more modernized. Designers have historically had to call Finley herself (with a phone!) to get on the Calendar. We expect future scheduling will happen primarily through digital devices. Last year, the CFDA began working with Finley to take a more active role in the scheduling of shows, and even launched a digital fashion calendar for mobile devices and desktop computers to make things easier for showgoers. (It had a few bugs, but we expect it will improve.)

Second, the CFDA plans to implement an official calendar for pre-collections. As resort and pre-fall have become increasingly important, with more brands staging proper runway shows and presentations, this is not surprising.

The CFDA says that IMG and Made (which run the Lincoln Center and Milk Studios shows, respectively) are on board with the change. “This is a great asset for IMG Fashion and the other New York Fashion Week constituencies as it will increase ease and create improved organization for all fashion week guests,” said Catherine Bennett, senior vice president and managing director of IMG, in a statement.

We're most intrigued to find out what this means for fashion week venues going forward. Last season, as you may recall, quite a few designers moved their shows away from Lincoln Center, including CFDA President Diane von Furstenberg. However, the tents got a bit of a makeover last season, and given how much support IMG is showing for the CFDA's increased involvement in the calendar, it seems unlikely that Lincoln Center will continue to get snubbed, at least not until the mixed-use space at the Hudson Yards -- which the CFDA has a hand in designing -- is open for business.