Featured Posts

To top
5 Jan

What to Watch: Thom Browne, CFDA Chairman

Thom Browne takes over as chairman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America in a difficult, but additionally an auspicious time, when the American fashion community is brimming with next-gen area of interest talent just waiting for its big break.

“There’s a mentality of all engines turned on,” newly minted CFDA accessories designer of the 12 months Raul Lopez, founding father of Luar, told WWD on the annual CFDA Awards in November.

“It’s almost just like the pandemic was a controlled forest fire and from that fireside got here all latest growth,” Puppets & Puppets cofounder Carly Mark added of the explosion of designers representing myriad backgrounds and points of view, from post-emo to Goth to revenge dressing sexy.

How will Browne lead them? By joining them, a minimum of in February, when he plans to indicate his men’s and girls’s collections during Latest York Fashion Week. “I assumed since I just began, it might be nice to remain in Latest York and fly the American flag in Latest York,” he said.

The 57-year-old designer succeeds Tom Ford, who ruffled a number of feathers at the beginning of his term in 2019 when he showed his first runway collection as chairman in Los Angeles.

Diversity, equity and inclusion were key priorities for Ford, who renamed the Latest York Fashion Week show schedule the more inclusive “American Collections Calendar” in 2021, diversified the CFDA board and initiated latest programs to supply access to jobs and mentorship. Throughout the pandemic, he launched A Common Thread with Vogue, which distributed greater than $5 million in relief aid to businesses.

Like Ford, Browne also has strong ties to the magazine’s editor in chief Anna Wintour: His partner Andrew Bolton is the chief curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Anna Wintour Costume Center.

Amongst his significant contributions to fashion, Browne has helped normalize men wearing skirts and short pants, with the assistance of celebrity fans like LeBron James and Dan Levy. He can also be the rare Latest York designer working today who has a really international profile; Italian luxury conglomerate Ermenegildo Zegna Group acquired his business in 2018, and he’s been a daily on the Paris Fashion Week calendar for years, except when he has shown in Latest York in recent seasons, to support Bolton’s “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” exhibition on the Met.

During his enviable fashion profession, he’s managed to distill a zany sartorial vision right into a business empire with 2021 sales of 264 million euros, and secure collaborations with Brooks Brothers, Samsung, Moncler and Supreme, amongst others.

So his biggest contribution might be in urging American fashion to go even bolder and embrace the weird.

“I can bring my experience of how I handled the last 20 years and crucial thing for me is that all of it starts from creativity,” Browne said when asked what his approach will probably be on the CFDA. “I believe here in America, sometimes we get pushed into commercializing things too quickly and that’s on the expense of creativity. I’ve been in a position to balance the 2 fairly well, so I’m going to fight the fight for creativity first, and with that business success will come.”

A few of his former employees have taken that advice to heart. “They’re like my kids…and I hope what they learned from me is to make sure that they’re true to themselves and create their very own standpoint that can survive its own,” Browne said of Daniel Roseberry at Schiaparelli in Paris and Jackson Wiederhoeft, who recently launched his own namesake line in Brooklyn, Latest York. “And to make sure that the standard is sweet.”

Recommended Products

Beauty Tips
No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.