Dinner With NYFW Founder Fern Mallis in NYC
Fern Mallis is widely credited with transforming New York Fashion Week into one of the big four fashion events on the international circuit, native New Yorker Fern Mallis is a celebrated fashion consultant. For ten years, from 1991-2001, she was the executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), the country’s governing body of fashion designers and runway shows. In 1993, she started the initiative to organise a modern and centralised platform for American fashion designers to display their clothing and called the event ‘Seventh on Sixth’.
The event grew quickly, and was acquired by global media giant IMG in 2001, after which Mallis became a senior vice president at IMG Fashion and also became its ambassador, traveling around the world to fashion shows and competitions. She also orchestrated New York Fashion Week’s move to the tents in Bryant Park, where shows ran for 16 years before moving to Lincoln Center in 2010. Under her guidance, IMG added new fashion weeks around the world in cities like Los Angeles, Melbourne, Miami, and Berlin, among others, to their show portfolio.
A noted philanthropist, Mallis has spearheaded charity events and initiatives that have raised millions of dollars for organisations like Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids (DIFFA) and the CFDA’s Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, which has raised more than $55 million to date. The latter is celebrating 25 years in 2019.
For her efforts in promoting fashion as an artistic and cultural endeavour around the world, Mallis has been awarded lifetime achievement awards from the Pratt Institute, presented to her by celebrated designer Calvin Klein in 2012, and the Fashion Institute of Technology , as well as numerous trade and civic organisations.