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2014 has brought about many changes including a new strategy for the CFDA, the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Last year, they hired Boston Consulting group in order to revamp its mission and overall brand for the years to come. “[The mission] needed to be clarified,” Jean-Marc Bellaiche, managing director at Boston Consulting Group(BCG), told Business of Fashion.”We needed to paint a precise picture of what each member, and all of the stakeholders, get from the association.”
The consulting group worked closed with the council’s Steven Kolba and Diane Von Furstenberg to rework the mission statement. They were able to reduce it from 6 sentences to one line: “The mission of the CFDA is to strengthen the influence and success of American Fashion Designers in the global economy.” The mission statement is reflective of the four areas that the CFDA will target: NY Fashion Week, education, partnerships and the manufacturing industry in the city. New York fashion week should be easier to navigate with a schedule that is less crowded and jammed with shows, while also taking into consideration the multiple locations throughout the city in which the shows are held. The Culture Shed at Hudson Yards is being considered as the main show space upon its completion in 2017.
“What’s the value of a centralized venue? How do you make that meaningful to designers? That’s where Diane as an individual – and as the president of the CFDA and part of the Culture Shed board – comes in, and what the BCG study has helped us understand,” Kolb said.
In the arena of education and partnerships, the CFDA has plans to strengthen relationships with existing partners, scholarship initiatives, and international schools. Through the consulting project, the CFDA became aware of the weak partnerships that lacked structure and strategy. “Some of the partnerships had been ad hoc because the CFDA was getting hit up every day with different offers,” Sarah Willersdorf, principal at BCG, told Business of Fashion.”We gave different suggestions on how to categorize [these partnerships], understand the value for the designers, how they should be priced and which should be strategic versus one-off.” President von Furstenberg was please with the outcome of their work with BCG, comparing it to working with a therapist.
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