Tom Ford is stepping down as chairman of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America), bringing down the curtain on a three-year term at the organization, the governing body of American fashion, in a major surprise move.

 

Ford, who served as CFDA president since June 2019, will end his three-year term on May 31, according to a statement on the council’s official website.

CFDA CEO Steven Kolb will assume the duties of interim president until Dec. 31, 2022. In this position, he will continue to report to the council with oversight from the council. The Council’s current officers, Vice Chair Tracy Reese, Secretary Vera Wang and Treasurer Stan Herman, will continue in their positions for the remainder of the year.

«When I began my role as president in June 2019, my goal was to help the American fashion industry become more globally recognized for its talent and importance,» Ford said in a statement.

«I could not have imagined the extraordinary circumstances that both the industry and the world would have to navigate: that a pandemic would shut down the world and change the course of our lives and our businesses forever. The pandemic forced all of us to think about our businesses in a new way, from the design and production process to the way we reach out and talk to our customers. We were forced to come up with new creative ways to run our businesses,» added the Texan-born designer.

«Some may think that fashion is just about making beautiful clothes and accessories or putting on runway shows, dressing celebrities and throwing parties without taking into account the incredible amount of work that goes on behind the scenes, or that the fashion industry is a $3 trillion industry that employs millions of people,» Ford continued.

The Council unanimously elected Tory Burch, Thom Browne and Aurora James as Council members, effective June 1, the CFDA said.

The Council will vote for a new chair in the fall to begin work in January, consistent with the CFDA’s fiscal calendar.

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