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Why Isn't the CFDA Trimming the New York Fashion Week Show List?

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New York Fashion Week is a crowded mess. Just in time for the start of the Fall 2015 shows, Business of Fashion has published an op-ed criticizing the CFDA for not editing the show calendar after buying it away from Ruth Finley last summer.

"Limiting the number of fashion shows on an official schedule does not mean stripping out all of the lesser-known designers in favour of big names," they write. "The essence of a good fashion week is healthy biodiversity and it is the job of organisers to make fashion week a dynamic and varied ecosystem comprised of established brands, high potential brands, some new faces, and a range of different aesthetics across the collections."

In the CFDA's defense, there have been changes made to try to streamline shows. There's now an anonymously curated list of 30 recommended designers to see at NYFW, but it's still pulled out of the official pile of 350 shows on the calendar. "We can't go backwards and tell people they can't show anymore," CFDA CEO Steven Kolb said back in January.

To further prove the point, the team dug up a 2011 quote that Kolb gave BoF regarding the cluttered calendar: "Who is the voice of God?" Kolb asked. "Who's to say that the CFDA or some committee with an opinion should decide who has more talent than somebody else?" But, they argue, that is exactly what the CFDA's job as keeper of the calendar should entail. "If the CFDA sets up a fair selection process and really considers the mix across the overall event, it could actually turn NYFW into a richer fashion environment—and one where the shows actually have a better chance of being seen," the op-ed concludes.