March 1, 2012 in EVENT FILES
On Tuesday evening, I attended the Harlem Fashion Row’s installment of their conversations series. This particular conversation was with CFDA CEO Steven Kolb at the Shomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Attendees included VP of IMG fashion Fern Mallis, designer Tracy Reese and stylist Phillip Boch and image activist Michaela Angela Davis to name a few.
Kolb’s energy and inviting personality made the entire experience engaging and informative. His genuine personality made all that he said all the more believing as he discussed his journey to his present position as the CFDA’s CEO as well as his feelings on the fashion industry as a whole. He provided tips/suggestions on how to become a CFDA endorsed designer and its processes along with a dash of wit. When a question of how designers of color should approach the often cruel world of fashion, he answered with “interning and being a sponge” which I believe he really thought was best and simplest answer. He was met with a bit of quiet rumblings where many later discussed finding it hard to even get the chance break through the color barrier and intern at various fashion houses and that they didn’t think he fully understood the challenge.
A superb speaking engagement all around, I left feeling enlightened. Although not looking to become a designer, it was important to hear about the industry and love and work in from a different angle. I can’t wait for the next one!