No one individual runs the fashion industry, here or abroad. Of course there are extremely powerful people who exert enormous influence, but they, to our knowledge, do not act in concert so it can't even be said that there is an oligarchy that controls everything. That said there is a great deal of "following" that goes on. We have become an industry of sycophants. An influential person confers status on a designer or brand and to curry favor people echo in an empty headed chorus. It matters little if the designer is talented or the designs are good. This is what has allowed the triumph of money and marketing to drive us to our current state. I want to stress as I have said in the past that I do not believe that there was some mythical golden age of meritocracy in the fashion industry. I do loudly proclaim however that the industry is as far from success based on quality as it has ever been.
The CFE in the UK has done an outstanding job of this the CFDA in America has not. The CFDA Incubator was the CFDA's response to the problem at hand. The trouble with it so far is that in order to be eligible a designer already has to, "Be a designer of demonstrable talent, i.e. have garnered substantial editorial coverage, and have support (orders) from top retailers". In my opinion that restriction defeats the purpose. Labels that have been in business for four seasons, have retail accounts and have major editorial coverage don't need help. However there are a great number of exceptionally talented designers in the city who do or they are in danger of going away. That is where we as an industry must focus our efforts. I've been trying to organize a program based in the garment district that would help support designers in every way. From design, through production, into sales. But it's been tough going. But that's what we need and so I will keep going after it. Just FYI all of the designs featured in today's post are from designers and brands who have either failed or are on a hiatus while they plan their next move. They didn't sell and for the life of me I don't know why.