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Thom Browne Named CFDA Chairman

Thom Browne will begin his post as chairman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America in January 2023.
Thom Browne will begin his post as chairman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America in January 2023. (Alistair Nicol)

The New York-based designer replaces Tom Ford, who finished his three-year term at the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) in May.

“Thom understands the steps that are required to build an American fashion business that is both successful and highly respected by the global fashion community,” said CFDA CEO Steven Kolb — who will continue to serve as interim chair until December 31, 2022 — in a statement. “He started as an independent menswear collection in New York, and developed his brand into a fast growing, profitable business with a strong global presence.”

Browne, whose business was acquired by Zegna in 2018, emphasised the importance of fostering creativity and innovation among designers. “My most important message is that everyone should have all the opportunities to thrive as designers, but the core of this success has to start from pure creativity,” Browne said. “It is our responsibility as designers to keep the story being told in an uncompromisingly creative way that reaches all in the most positive way.”

He is, in many ways, a natural fit for the position, which requires a certain amount of attentiveness to — and genuine concern for — paying CFDA members who are looking for networking, sourcing and other forms of support from the group. Not only has his US-based business succeeded on a global scale — with annual sales reaching €263 million in 2021 — but he is also closely connected to American Vogue, which works closely with the CFDA on projects like the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, as well as the Anna Wintour-supported Costume Institute, where his partner, Andrew Bolton, is head curator.

Ford joined the CFDA, the US’ preeminent fashion industry trade organisation, in 2019, succeeding Diane von Furstenberg, who was in the position for 13 years. His tenure was marked by the pandemic.

Learn more:

What Tom Ford’s CFDA Post Means for American Fashion

After a three-year search, the organisation has found a successor for Diane von Furstenberg.

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