New York – The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and Cadillac today announced the next four designers participating in Retail Lab, a mentorship program which provides fashion designers a real-world education in retail, including a rotating physical retail space at Cadillac House. The 2018 Retail Lab shops, which will operate for three months each, are Title of Work, Dannijo, Rosetta Getty and Rachel Zoe.
The four designer brands follow the first class, which featured Timo Weiland, Cushnie et Ochs, Public School, Tanya Taylor, Pamela Love and Prabal Gurung, whose retail shop opened at Cadillac House this past October for the holiday season.
Gurung’s store offers the designer’s latest collection, an array of skincare products in partnership with belif, and hand crafted artisanal products from his home in Nepal. He prominently features his statement T-shirts and a range of exclusive sweatshirts from the Fall 2017 collection, created in response to the current political climate and in an effort to bring attention to women’s rights. The designer’s store also offers the Spring 2018 ‘Stronger in Colour’ and vibrant heart tees, which are exclusive to Retail Lab and PrabalGurung.com, in an effort to raise awareness of racial and gender inequality. A percentage of proceeds will go to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and the Shikshya Foundation Nepal. Consumer engagement with these special products is deepened by several custom fixtures developed by Accenture/Fjord, the official innovation partner of the program.
Retail Lab is a pioneering program developed with Cadillac in which designers are selected through a competitive application process to gain valuable retail experience under the tutelage of fashion industry experts. Participating designers also receive access to a brick-and-mortar retail space at Cadillac House to show their work and sell products. At Cadillac House – the brand experience center that invites innovators across art, fashion, entertainment and hospitality to create unique programming for the public – designers are encouraged to transform the space as they see fit to bring to life their unique vision and point of view.
“The selected 2018 Retail Lab designers are a diverse group of American fashion designers with a unique brand story to tell,” said Ashley Sandall, director of Strategic Partnerships for the CFDA. “With Cadillac’s continued support, these designers are able to grow their businesses while receiving valuable resources as they consider opening their owned retail stores.”
“Retail Lab is the full embodiment of our brand’s commitment to fashion and Cadillac House’s mission to curate ever-changing programming for the community, beyond automotive,” said Nathan Tan, associate director of brand partnerships and experiences at Cadillac. “We are proud to provide this year’s class of designers with a blank canvas to experiment with as a physical extension of their brand and look forward to seeing what they each create.”
Retail Lab is also supported by way of store fixtures provided by Alu, mannequins from DK Display, hangers from Henry Hangers and technology and retail business solutions from Prism, Axis and KWI.
Retail Lab is located within Cadillac House at 330 Hudson Street in New York. The store will be open six days a week, Mondays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
ABOUT RETAIL LAB
Retail Lab is an innovative program launched by Cadillac and CFDA providing tangible value to designers who are driving the fashion industry forward. Participating designers, selected through a competitive application process, will gain valuable retail experience under the tutelage of fashion industry experts. The main component of Retail Lab will be a custom retail shop located on the ground floor of Cadillac House in New York, while also learning integral keys to success in retail, including business development, marketing and public relations. In addition to covering costs associated with a retail space, such as real estate, display units, mannequins, signage and point of sale system, Cadillac will provide each designer with a $75,000 grant to put towards wholesale buys, sales support and marketing.
As the first Innovation Partner of CFDA’s Retail Lab, Accenture works closely with the Lab’s select group of emerging fashion designers to develop customized retail strategies and equip them with the critical business knowledge and digital skills required to stay competitive in today’s challenging retail market.
The CFDA and Cadillac have assembled a team of experts across fashion, retail, business and technology to comprise the Advisory Board, who will curate the program curriculum, develop a Retail Lab handbook and provide valuable mentorship guidance throughout. The Advisory Board consists of Billy Reid; Bobby Schuessler, Who What Wear; Darcy Penick, Shopbop /East Dane; Jan-Hendrik Schlottmann, Derek Lam; Jay Silver, CBiz; Jill Standish, Accenture; Josh Peskowitz, Magasin; Julie Gilhart; Kelli Adams, Redscout; Liz Rodbell, Hudson Bay Company; Marigay McKee, MM Luxe Consulting; Matt Marcotte; Melody Lee, Cadillac; Rachel Besser, Market Editor, Refinery29; Rachel Shechtman, STORY; Reed Krakoff; Robin Kramer, Kramer Design Group; Robin Zendell, Robin Zendell LLC; Simon Doonan, Barneys New York; Stacey Bendet Eisner, Alice + Olivia, and Steven Alan.
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