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CFDA debates men’s show week

By Leisa Millar

New York wants a little of what London (and Milan, and Paris) is having.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America has confirmed that two meetings with key industry figures have been held recently to discuss the feasibility of hosting standalone menswear shows in the city. The current set-up sees menswear shown in New York in and around the women’s schedule, in either men’s-only or dual-gender shows and presentations.

Many of the top names in US design – including Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Donna Karan – opt instead to show their collections at the standalone shows in Europe.

‘Over the years, a number of industry people have talked to the CFDA about the value of a dedicated men’s week. In recent months, some key people with a deep and sincere interest in that idea have come together as a group to explore that possibility,’ Steven Kolb, chief executive officer of the CFDA, tells WWD. ‘We are looking at the potential of a men’s week and how that might fit into the global men’s calendar.’

Designer Michael Bastian is one of many who has voiced his support for the plan, saying, ‘I think American men’s wear is totally different from what you see in Milan and Paris. Sometimes you see an American designer over there and it feels a bit out of context. It looks out of place. I think now we are getting critical mass in New York for men’s wear so that we could gang together and stand for something.’

Kolb confirms that, with ‘the right people having the right conversations’, an independent New York men’s fashion week could be scheduled for as early as this summer, or spring 2014.

Let’s hear it for the boys.

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