by Michael Macko


How-Steven-Kolb-WorksSteven Kolb, CEO of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, the man responsible for spearheading New York Fashion Week: Men’s, is remarkably down-to-earth and understated. In his nine-year tenure at the CFDA, he has become one of the most influential people in American fashion and has helped launch many budding designers’ careers. Here, we take a look inside his Bleecker Street office in New York City and learn how his surroundings inspire him and how Steven Kolb works.

1. “There are five private offices; mine is black and they get progressively lighter to a very pale gray. The colors of the CFDA are red, black and white; the architect who designed the offices wanted to stay true to that.”

2. “Each office represents one decade of the CFDA’s 50 years. I had first choice and selected the 1980s, even though the photograph I chose by Arthur Elgort (featuring models Maggie Rizer in a red Bill Blass coat and skirt and Ryan Locke) is from the November ’98 issue of American Vogue. Prior to working at the CFDA I was at DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS) and had the opportunity to work on several projects with Maggie. She’s a big supporter.”

3. “When I moved to New York in the 1980s I bought three little cactus plants and moved them from apartment to apartment. I still have one today at my house in Pennsylvania that’s so big I can no longer move it. The tallest cactus on my office credenza is an offshoot of that original cactus.”

4. “My husband Jay and I rescued Donna about three years ago. We believe she’s between four and five years old. She’s our third dog: the first was Dalila, the second was Dezarae and now we have Donna. Everyone asks if she’s named after Donna Karan but she’s not: it’s just a “D” thing.”

5. “About 10 years ago, my husband Jay and I were on a hike in Florida and I saw my first owl. I was entranced by its elegance and beauty. Later on that trip we were at a flea market and found an owl figure, and so my collection began. I now have over 1,000 owls, most of them in my home in Pennsylvania.”

6. Designers on Instagram: #Fashion, is the CFDA’s 10th, and most recent book, which highlights some of the best Instagrams from CFDA members with a foreword by the co-founder of Instagram, Kevin Systrom. Currently there are more than 215 million Instagrams with the #fashion hashtag. It’s a thing. The book is available for $19.95 on Amazon.”