CFDA names Tom Ford as chairman

Proving the rumors to be true, Tom Ford has been named the new chairman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, effective January 1, 2020. 


Ford is the 11th person to take on the role of CFDA chairman - Photo: CFDA

The CFDA announced that Ford was ratified by the organization's board during a meeting at the CFDA offices on Tuesday. 

Ford's official appointment marks the departure of current CFDA chairwoman Diane von Furstenberg, following a 13-year tenure leading the organization alongside CFDA chief executive officer, Steven Kolb.

While working with Kolb, von Furstenberg was a transformative force behind the growth of the New York season, building it up to a competitive position alongside the long-respected seasons of Paris, London and Milan, and cultivating respect for New York's fashion community. Following her departure, von Furstenberg is set to maintain her position as a member of the CFDA board. 

As Ford takes up the mantle, expectations are likely to be high, not only in light of his predecessor's accomplishments, but also as a new variety of socio-political issues begin to have an intense impact on the fashion industry. In particular, sustainability and diversity continue to be hot topics that the CFDA has committed to tackling with recent reports and initiatives.

Of the immediate matters awaiting Ford when he begins as chairman, the organization of New York Fashion Week will likely be a top priority, as the CFDA continues to play with the calendar and unverified rumors circulate of a possible location change to The Shed at Hudson Yards. 

Ford is now the 11th person to hold the role, joining the likes of Stan Herman (who von Furstenberg succeeded in 2006), Sydney Wragge, Norman Norell, Oscar de la Renta, Herbert Kasper, Bill Blass, Mary McFadden, Perry Ellis and Carolyne Roehm, who have all held it before him.  

In addition to being an award-winning fashion designer, Ford has proven to be a multi-talented creative figure with additional practices as a film director, screenwriter and film producer.

His eponymous luxury brand was launched in 2005, beginning with menswear and later expanding into womenswear, accessories, eyewear, beauty, underwear and timepieces. Outside of his own label, Ford has previously served as the creative director of Gucci Group, where he designed for luxury houses Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, until 2004.

Ford has been a member of the CFDA since 2000, and has won a total of seven CFDA Fashion Awards, most recently winning Menswear Designer of the Year for 2015.

The appointment comes as the CFDA prepares to announce the nominees and honorees for the 2019 CFDA Fashion Awards, set to take place at the Brooklyn Museum on June 3.

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