by John Russel Jones

The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) has announced that Thom Browne is its new  Chairman. He will step into the role on January 1st, 2023. The CFDA Board of Directors unanimously elected the designer to the role for a two-year term.

ABOVE: Fashion designer Thom Browne walks the runway during the Thom Browne Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2023 fashion show as part of the Paris Fashion Week on October 3, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by SAVIKO/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

The designer, who launched his business in 2003, has been renowned for his oft-times whimsical and intellectual approach to fashion and design, looking at classical menswear tropes through a kaleidoscopic lens, creating groundbreaking seasonal presentations, and all the while building a loyal fanbase. His brand now includes men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collections, footwear, accessories, and fragrance.

Browne, a member of the CFDA since 2005, has been awarded its Menswear Designer of the Year award three times and was also a runner-up for the 2005 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. He currently serves on the organization’s Board of Directors.

Browne is quoted on the CFDA’s website:

“I am very excited about taking on the chairmanship of the CFDA…,” said Browne. “I feel a huge responsibility in working with Steven and the CFDA team to carry on the positive and important work of Tom, Diane and Stan.  I, also, feel that it is important to give back to an industry that has supported me so well over the last 20 years. I am so proud to be an American designer… there is so much happening in American design today that the world needs to really see and recognize and truly appreciate.

My most important message is that everyone should have all the opportunities to thrive as designers, but the core of this success has to start from pure creativity. It is our responsibility as designers to keep the story being told in an uncompromisingly creative way that reaches all in the most positive way. It is the mission of the CFDA to support and encourage new voices and new designers to parlay their creativity in to a unique and singular level of success. As designers, it is our responsibility to provoke…to educate… to entertain…to make laugh and to make cry…and, most importantly, to make beautiful clothes and to succeed in nurturing the next generation of American design.”

Browne succeeds designer Tom Ford who, as reported, stepped down in May. CFDA CEO Steven Kolb has been serving as Interim Chair and will hold the position until Brown begins his term.

“Thom understands the steps that are required to build an American fashion business that is both successful and highly respected by the global fashion community,” said Kolb. “He started as an independent menswear collection in New York, and developed his brand into a fast growing, profitable business with a strong global presence. Thom firmly believes the craft of fashion is the foundation of success, and his commitment to creativity runs through everything that he touches. Thom’s significant contribution to design innovation has been recognized by museums around the world. Our members, at every level of the CFDA, and the organization as a whole will benefit immensely from his thoughts, ideas and experience, and I’m looking forward to our work together.”