Word on the street is that designer and current CFDA Chairwoman Diane von Furstenberg is getting ready to pass the baton onto Tom Ford, according to WWD. Though the CFDA has declined to comment, sources say that von Furstenberg is preparing to step down from the post she’s held for 13 years, and the organization is reportedly set to vote on Ford’s nomination as early as Tuesday.
Since von Furstenberg stepped into the role in 2006, she has worked with CFDA Chief Executive Officer Steven Kolb, overseeing programs such as the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, a grant for emerging fashion designers, and the CFDA Fashion Incubator, another aid to aspiring designers which provides studio space, business mentoring, educational seminars and networking opportunities. Von Furstenberg’s tenure as chairwoman has collided with a time in the industry that has been faced with much controversy and change. In turn, she has worked to expand the influence of the organization through initiatives surrounding the issues of diversity, sustainability and the health of models.
In comparison, Ford’s nearly three-decade career has shown him as a prominent and critical figure in the fashion industry, making his succession to von Furstenberg an ideal one.
Ford has been credited with reviving the Gucci Group, now known as Kering. After being tapped as Gucci’s chief women’s ready-to-wear designer for Gucci in 1990, he went on to serve as creative director for Gucci in 1994 and Yves Saint Laurent in 1999. He designed collections for both of these Gucci Group labels simultaneously. It was in 2006, two years after leaving the company, that Ford launched his namesake label, which has gone on to encompass lines of menswear, womenswear, beauty, eyewear, and watches.
If chosen to take over the role, Ford's primary duties will consist of overseeing the production of New York Fashion Week and the annual CFDA awards.
Past CFDA heads include Perry Ellis, Oscar de la Renta, and Stan Herman, to name just a few of the fashion elite who have occupied fashion’s royal throne. Following von Furstenberg as the 11th person to occupy the role will likely present a welcome challenge to Ford to continue to promote the CFDA’s upwards progress and presence of American designers as a force to be reckoned with.