When they received the best womenswear brand award for The Row at the CFDA Awards earlier on this week, it felt hard to remember Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's Disney days. While the brand has long been a go-to for editors and celebrities, the award cemented their position as being at the helm of a legitimate brand that deserves to be taken seriously. As CFDA president Steven Kolbtold Fashionista, 'They were patient and did it right.' This has served them well both with their own lines and partnerships.
Last week Superga, the Italian sneaker brand that the pair have a collection with, hosted a party to celebrate the launch of their first American store in SoHo. Steve Madden, who is responsible for the big launch and has worked with the twins for the last five years on their Elizabeth & James shoe line, complimented their attention to detail. 'They're very demanding, they're very tough,' he told Fashionista when asked what it was like to work with them. 'They want what they want and so we worked hard to get that done.' But it's this exacting standard that he says is their strength. 'They are a pain in the ass. But they're very good though.'
Last year we were lucky enough to have a video of Lady Gaga's acceptance speech at the CFDA Awards hit the net. Aside from the fact that Gaga told that hilarious story about Anna Wintour, the video was significant for another reason as it marked the first time that we were given access to the goings on in the annual event but now, the exclusivity is a thing of the past.
Today WWD confirmed that the ceremony will follow in the footsteps of the Met Gala and will be available for all to see. While this year's event will not be live like the Gala, it will be broadcast on Style.com on June 5, the day after it takes place and will show inside the awards as well as on the red carpet. Tim Blanks has been brought on board to host the broadcast and will be interviewing guests on the red carpet too.
Piracy is the age old problem faced by many designers and things initially seemed to be moving in the right direction when the CFDA pushed a bill to crack down on it last summer. Everyone from Narciso Rodriguez to the Proenza Schouler duo backed the anti-piracy legislation in Washington but unfortunately they haven't made much progress.
'If we learned nothing else in this giant civics lesson, we learned that’s the way things work in Washington.…A bit of patience is needed,' Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA, said this week. 'We remain focused on it, but we are also building other ways to spread the word on why intellectual property belongs to the person who created it.' Without the support of Congress it looks like it's back to the drawing board.'
Talk about the fashion week schedule for S/S13 have dominated the headlines over the past few weeks and it doesn't look like things are getting better. Over the weekend things took a turn for the worse when Camera Nazionale della Moda Italia president, Mario Boselli, released an open letter to the press putting Milan's side of the saga across.
In the letter, Boselli confirmed that Milan's dates will not change reiterating that the arrangement for fashion month to begin on the second Thursday of September was only a three month agreement. According to them, no objection had been raised by the other cities when a press release was produced confirming the reversion back to the original scheduling. But the letter wasn't full of pleasantries. Instead, he aimed attacks at London and New York saying that the accusations show 'an arrogant and aggressive attitude towards Milan'.
Controversy about the use of underage models in the industry is an issue that is never too far from the headlines so with Fashion Week beginning today, the issue has reared up again. Last week WWD reported that Diane Von Furstenberg and CFDA CEO Steven Kolb had sent letters out to designers urging them to check the ages of models on the day of the show to ensure they are over 16 but it looks like these initatives aren't aggressive enough as Avril Lavigne confirmed that Kylie Jenner will walk in her Abbey Dawn collection this week.
While her older sister Kendall isn't interested in walking the runway, Kylie wants to jump right in by walking in brother Brody Jenner's girlfriend's show. Although that's all well and good Kylie, the youngest in the Kardashian-Jenner brood, has only just turned 14 so is well below the standard imposed by the CFDA. Despite the clear guidelines, the CFDA don't appear to have any enforcement mechanism in place to deal with such instances. 'The CFDA Health Initiative guidelines are suggested recommendations put forth for the industry. The latest version has been distributed widely,' Kolb told Fashionista. 'We are not in a position to police or enforce these recommendations. We can only hope that they are followed and taken seriously and are happy that so many in our industry are acting responsible.'
So what should be done? Understandably these guidelines are needed but on the other hand, Lavigne's line is targeted to the tween market and that's exactly what Kylie is.
Yesterday GQ revealed the finalists for their annual competition. Nominees include Patrik Ervell, T by Alexander Wang, Miller's Oath designer Kirk Miller, Gant by Michael Bastian, Riviera Club designers Joe Sadler, Greg Ullery and Warriors of Radness designer Rick Klotz.
Fashionista reports that Dockers have come on board this year as the sponsors so the finalists will design a capsule collection for the brand set to be available in Bloomingsdale come fall. Above that, designers will also have the benefit of being mentored by a strong panel of industry figures such as Tommy Hilfiger, Kevin Harter (vice president of fashion direction at Bloomingdale's) and Steven Kolb.