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CFDA Fetes 60 Years With Launch Into the Metaverse

Fashion has changed demonstrably over the 60 years since the Council of Fashion Designers of America first began representing the trade. Fittingly, the organization is celebrating its milestone birthday by embracing a new type of fashion that could be the greatest disruptor the industry has ever seen.

Featured since last Monday on the Metaverse platform The Sandbox, “Fashioning the Shades of American Design”, puts a punctuation mark on a yearlong birthday celebration for the CFDA. The collection is organized into five themes: Illuminating a Fantasy, Illuminating Romance, Illuminating the Avant-Garde,  Illuminating Understanding and Illuminating Soul.

“The metaverse exhibition is the finale of a yearlong anniversary celebration. Throughout the year, we celebrated the stories of our members and important moments in American fashion history on, launched commemorative NFTs, and highlighted the milestone at the CFDA Fashion Awards,” CFDA CEO Steven Kolb said. “CFDA has been a constant voice for American fashion and our members from the moment our founder Eleanor Lambert started the organization in 1962. Our deep history in supporting the industry with resources and programs and our constant evolution to address its changing needs is something I am certain Mrs. Lambert would be proud to see.”

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“Featured looks reimagined in a voxel environment include Stephen Burrows’ colorful layered lettuce hem dress created for the 1973 Battle of Versailles; Dapper Dan’s 1980s custom design for Hip-Hop legends Eric B & Rakim; a grunge look from Marc Jacobs’ famed Perry Ellis Spring 1993 collection; an eclectic 1970s-inspired look from Anna Sui’s Fall 2000 collection, and a Thom Browne crinoline menswear ensemble from his Spring 2020 collection,” the CFDA said in its press release. “Moreover, this exhibition is just a snapshot of the incredible range and cultural breadth of contributions to American fashion.”

“We worked with fashion curator Darnell-Jamal Lisby from the Cleveland Museum of Art, who brought his knowledge and voice to the exhibition,” Kolb said. “We partnered with The Sandbox, Polygon Studios, MoonPay, and 5Crypto by 5th Column. All are leading companies working in web3. You are seeing the strategy unfold, and throughout the year, we provided professional development programming for our members to give them the guidance and knowledge needed for their own efforts.”

Earlier this month, the CFDA continued its celebration of 60 years of fashion by launching another NFT line called “Lighting the Path of American Fashion,” which features the likes of Coach, Diane von Furstenberg, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Vivienne Tam, Wes Gordon and Willy Chavaria.

The Hilfiger selection celebrates the brand’s famous rugby top, an evening gown from Michael Kors and from Coach, the Leather Rexy, a likeness of Coach’s “playful” tyrannosaurus rex mascot.

The opening bid for each of these items is 19.72 Ethereum, which in U.S. Dollars is roughly $25,000.

Winning bidders also get bonus perks, including trips, opportunities to meet the designers and more.

“The response has been amazing and we are certain of a sell out,” Kolb said. “We are only just at the beginning and will see how the market evolves as we look to further our work in the space.”

Over the last 60 years the fashion industry has not had to adapt to a concept as radical as not existing in the physical universe, but Kolb says, whatever changes are ahead, designers will keep up and CFDA will be right there alongside them.

“We cannot ignore technology’s influence on society,” Kolb said. “Designers have always been apt to seize the opportunities that come with new ideas. The benefits of a digital world include customer engagement at a global level and expanded brand awareness. The challenge is understanding the rapidly evolving ‘language’ of technology which can often be confusing to some… In working with the various partners, we learned of the immense opportunities that exist when building a ‘world’ in the metaverse.”