CFDA Partners with CADILLAC to Launch “Retail Lab”


BY MARISSA TOZZI

The Council of Fashion Designers of America and Cadillac have announced the launch of The Retail Lab. This will be a custom retail shop located on the ground floor of Cadillac’s global headquarters in New York, meant to provide a space for emerging designers to sell their collections. Participating designers, selected through a competitive application process, will gain valuable retail experience under the guidance of fashion industry experts.

The CFDA is always looking for meaningful programs that help strengthen the impact of American Fashion. Every designer aspires to a freestanding retail experience that allows them to tell their brand story and connect directly with consumers. Cadillac’s commitment to the industry will help the selected designers make this a reality.

- Steven Kolb, President and CEO of the CFDA

Cadillac is funding the program which will be including business development, marketing and PR. Along with covering costs for a retail space, including real estate, display units, mannequins, signage, and point of sale system, Cadillac will be providing a $75,000 grant to each designer that will go towards marketing, sales support, and wholesale buys.

Timo Weiland will be the first designer to occupy the retail space, with their shop opening to the public in early July. Five other designers will also participate in the 2016/2017 term, each opening their respective retail shops for three months, while under the mentorship program. The application process for the five remaining designers will be open from April 6th to May 6th, following a strict eligibility criteria.

The Advisory Board consisting of experts across fashion, retail, business and technology, will curate the program curriculum, develop a Retail Lab handbook and provide valuable mentorship guidance throughout. Board members include names such as Billy Reid, Bobby Schuessler of Who What Wear, Simon Doonan of Barneys New York, Julie Gilhart, Darcy Penick, Jay Silverof CBiz, Jan-Hendrik Schlottmann of Derek Lam, Liz Rodbell, Marigay McKee, Steven Alan, and more.

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Left to Right: Timo Weiland, Alan Eckstein, & Donna Kang Photo by Danny Clinch