THE CFDA has caused controversy after deciding to relocate its offices from New York's beloved Garment District to Bleecker Street - a move designers have described as a snub to the area - a location that the organisation has always tried to protect and promote through initiatives such as Fashion Incubator and the Made In Midtown study.
"We are extremely disappointed by the CFDA's decision to leave the Garment Centre," said designer Nanette Lepore. "We only hope this does not signal the end of their previous support for New York City manufacturing and emerging American designers."
CFDA chief executive Stephen Kolb explained that the decision to move away from the area had nothing to do with changing values and that the company will continue its support of the district as a fashion and culture hub.
"When we went on that hunt, we were sensitive to neighbourhoods," he told WWD. "Our intention was to look heavily here [The Garment District], and we considered buildings in the Garment District significantly in our search. The criteria by which we were finding space was ultimately based not on neighbourhood, but what the best space for a functioning office for the CFDA was. Right now, if you look around, we are busting out of the seams."
CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg said that she will be expanding her label's presence in the area, developing the size of her showroom and factory there.
"We needed a very large space so we can have board meetings and clinics there," von Furstenberg said. "We found a great space with a great deal, and that's that. We looked for a long time, and we didn't find the right opportunity."