Almost every country has its own fashion council, whose aim it is to further the talent, goals and business of the country’s fashion industry in the global fashion economy. It does so by championing diversity, inviting fashion designers to actively participate in a network to accelerate a successful circular fashion economy and much more. Let’s take a look at some of the key fashion councils across the world.
Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode
As a regulating commission that determines which fashion design houses are eligible to be haute couture houses, the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode brings together fashion brands that seek to promote French fashion culture, particularly Haute Couture, by encouraging them to combine traditional textile craft with modern technology. It comprises three central bodies i.e. Haute Couture, Ready-to-Wear, Men’s Fashion. And, regulates Paris Fashion Week and its offshoots, including the official calendar of shows and presentations, bringing together over one hundred and fifty fashion brands.
Skills are the core of the Federation. Deeply invested in creation, committed to companies and acting globally, it encouraged the strategic partnership between schools that influenced fashion in their own way. The ECSCP have embodied French excellence since 1927 and the IFM has been a pioneer in fashion management degree since 1986. Today, their union offers Paris a new school to shape fresh fashion talent. “The union of the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale et de l’IFM provides Paris with a school whose ambition is to establish itself as the best fashion school in the world, relying on a unique trio, management, technics and creation, ranging from CAP to Thesis, including Bachelor and Master Degree, settled in a new innovative and open site, actively promoting social diversity, and at the forefront in terms of technologies and sustainable development” stated Ralph Toledano, President, Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode.
As a core element of an ecosystem resolutely geared towards the future, the Federation lies at the heart of the fashion industry’s changes and challenges. It provides members with a range of services in the sphere of legal, social, economic, technological, marketing and communication through dedicated commissions, ad hoc task forces or individual appointments with fashion brands. It actively takes part in the expansion of the French ecosystem by providing emerging fashion brands with financial and organisational support, and the overall expertise they need to structure and ease their development and exposure.The support to emerging brands is one of the key missions of the Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode. It supports their development before and after their entry in the official calendars and contributes to increasing their visibility within an institutional, commercial, technologic and media network. The Fédération also organises a showroom, Designers Apartment, with the backing of the DEFI, a committee for the promotion and advancement of clothing industries. And, to remain relevant today, it has a digital platform ‘New Now’.
British Fashion Council
Founded in 1983, London-based British Fashion Council <BCF> strengthens British fashion in the global economy by championing diversity and encouraging the industry to build a circular fashion economy. The not-for-profit organisation — responsible for London Fashion Week, London Fashion Week Men’s, British Fashion Awards and London Fashion Week Festival — supports both young and established fashion designers in a number of ways including scholarships, connections with global audiences and championing talent.
Most significantly, the BFC is activating a long term plan to stamp out racial prejudice. In September 2020, the council created a Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee to stamp out racism in fashion and hosts fortnightly discussions with the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic fashion communities to address challenges and work on solutions.“The Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee aspires for the fashion industry to be open for all and reflect the diverse, global communities it inspires and serves. The Committee aims to reach this ambition by bringing together leaders in business, culture and education to create a framework which will build better, broader engagement and access for all under-represented groups; creating more opportunities and driving greater diversity throughout the industry,” Caroline Rush, CEO of British Fashion Council, revealed in a statement.
The BFC also incorporated all its charities to form the BFC Foundation in 2019, supporting the growth of the British fashion industry by focusing on education, grant-giving and business mentoring and the IPF. In the mot recent news, following a period of virtual fashion shows, financial strain and the closures of several labels and fashion brands, the council re-allocated its resources and helped a large number of fashion designers to survive the pandemic. A primary example is of the BFC Foundation making £1,000,000 Covid emergency funds available to fashion businesses impacted by the pandemic and a portion of the funds also allocated to fashion students, underpinning the future generation of creative talent.
Fashion Design Council Of India
Formed in 1998, the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) works to grow and strengthen the business of fashion in India. Widely acclaimed for promoting indigenous handwoven textiles and transforming Indian fashion as an artistic, cultural force worldwide, the council promotes and nurtures over four hundred members, including fashion and accessory designers and professionals, educational institutions and corporates.
The non-profit independent association of fashion designers is supported by the Indian Textile Ministry and its calendar of events includes the bi-annual India Fashion Week and the annual India Couture Week. Additionally, the council and works closely with fashion institute and collaborates with the Textile Ministry and the Commerce Industry Ministry, Government of India to host fashion and textile-related events and creates opportunities for FDCI members across India and overseas.
“Established designers will continue to create collections with smaller teams but younger designers are struggling with bills and opening stores. Although landlords and real estate people are helping them with subsidised rates it is challenging regardless. Thirdly, migrant labour has to come back in full strength. The tailors, the karigars, everyone. Lastly, we must look at season-less design instead of trends. This is what we feel now. But fashionistas may not agree and want new trends each season! So we can only wait and watch,” Sunil Sethi, President, FDCI told us about the challenges the fractured fashion industry continues to face, post-pandemic.
Council of Fashion Designers of America
With a vision to strengthen the impact of American fashion in the global economy, the not-for-profit trade association Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), founded by Eleanor Lambert in 1962, has a membership of around four hundred and seventy seven of America’s foremost womenswear, menswear, jewellery and accessory designers.
The CFDA Foundation, Inc. a separate not-for-profit organization, was created to raise funds for charitable causes. Through the Foundation, the CFDA created and manages Fashion Targets Breast Cancer; raises funds for HIV and AIDS organizations; addresses the issue of model health with The CFDA Health Initiative; and is a key participant in other programs such as the annual, supremely popular Fashion’s Night Out.
The shows and presentations of New York Fashion Week will continue to be presented via Runway360, CFDA’s centralised hub to support American fashion brands’ collection releases year-round. “This year marks the 60th anniversary of the CFDA, and as the organizer of the official NYFW schedule, we are incredibly proud to release a lineup that reflects our founding principle: to promote American fashion on a global scale,” CFDA CEO Steven Kolb said about the upcoming New York Fashion Week, in published statement. “We celebrate the collective excellence, diversity and resilience of our industry and look forward to strong American collections season alongside our esteemed international guests.” What’s more? Per Vogue, ‘Five New York designers are granting access to shows and other experiences, gifts and perks to people who buy $100 NFTs…’
The. association is acclaimed for hosting the annual CFDA Fashion Awards which celebrates excellence in fashion design. In February 2021, the association developed IMPACT, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, to identify, connect, support and nurture the historically underrepresented communities in fashion. Led by the CFDA in conjunction with IMPACT’s Black Advisory Board, the program links business professionals to fashion brands and stakeholders for opportunity, education and sharing. Of equal importance is CDFA Fashion Incubator, a business development program to assist the next generation of fashion designers in New York. Yet another important development by the association is the CFDA Scholarship Fund which is designed to support exemplary fashion talentIn 2022, the CFDA will continue to invest in the fashion ecosystem with the goal to award scholarships worth $500,000 to underrepresented student design talent, therefore building a more inclusive, just and equitable future for people and planet.
Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana
Non-profit association Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana supports the development of Italian Fashion. Founded in 1985, the association embodies the cultural values of Italian Fashion and aims to protect and strengthen its image, both in Italy and overseas. Representing more than two hundred companies across segments like clothing, accessories, leather goods and footwear, it disseminates knowledge with stakeholders in the industry and develops Italian fashion through high-scale events, the most influential being Milan Fashion Week established in 1958 and currently one of the world’s big four fashion weeks alongside New York, London and Paris. PS An interesting facet of Milan Fashion Week is The Green Carpet Fashion Awards Italia for sustainable fashion — by Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana in alliance with UK-based consulting firm Eco-Age which specialises in ethics and sustainability.
I worked with Condenast India as Digital Editor and launched Vogue India’s portal. Four years later, I turned entrepreneur and launched my luxury portal www.explosivefashion.in. Perhaps it’s my vision and exclusive content that’s placed Explosive Fashion at the forefront of luxury: reporting from fashion weeks, collaborating with luxury brands, presenting royal families’ vision, championing talent, reviewing hotels and restaurants, writing on travel, heritage. My editorial is of a storyteller, the story of the person behind the brand.