CFDA CONNECTS Officially Launches Today! 10 regional fashion organizations to help strengthen the American fashion industry with the support of the CFDA.

CFDA CONNECTS Officially Launches Today! 10 regional fashion organizations to help strengthen the American fashion industry with the support of the CFDA.

It has been a long planning season, but The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) has finally announced the official global launch of CFDA Connects! Envisioned and Spearheaded by Elliot Carlyle, CFDA Connects is an innovative new program that supports select regional fashion weeks and organizations across America.

Elliot Carlyle, Image Sourced at

Furthering the CFDA’s mission to strengthen the impact of American fashion in a global economy, CFDA Connects was created to skill share and connect domestic markets to the pulse of the American and global fashion industries through CFDA resources, including professional and business development, education, trade events, supply chain and local manufacturing, social impact, and sustainability. CFDA Connects launches with ten regional organizations across the U.S.: Columbus Fashion Council, Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator, Hawaii Fashion Week, Indiana Fashion Foundation, Kansas City Fashion Week, Miami Fashion Week, Philadelphia Fashion Week, Ragtrade Atlanta/Atlanta Fashion Week, Saint Louis Fashion Fund, and the Texas Fashion Industry Initiative as its founding member.

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CFDA Connects will serve its regional market members by providing access to CFDA’s digital home of the American collections, RUNWAY360, expanding these territories’ reach through amplification and promotion, and centralizing design talent across the country for discovery and industry support.

“Our organization serves the whole American fashion industry—all 50 states—and we are excited that CFDA Connects will collectively bond our industry and affiliates with the diverse and burgeoning small businesses that make up our country’s economy,” said Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA. “The symbiotic relationships will generate mutual support opportunities serving to everyone’s benefit, and the larger we grow our network, the stronger the American fashion industry becomes.”

Steven Kolb, CEO of the CFDA

The Council of Fashion Designers of America, a national membership organization, congratulates TEXAS FASHION WEEK™ on the great work they are doing for our industry. As an inaugural member of CFDA Connects, we look forward to supporting them in their important work and discovering the diverse talent they represent.” Said Kolb.

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To further foster industry community and fellowship, CFDA executives will meet regularly with representatives from each regional organization to form a working collective of executive directors and founders with roundtables, discussions, trainings, and development to amplify, expand, increase and strengthen member organizations and the markets they serve. In Texas, Burgundy Woods, President, of the Texas Fashion Industry Initiative and Jeanelly Concepcion, Vice President, will represent this market through TFII and its TEXAS FASHION WEEK™ program.

“After seven years of research and working diligently with the fashion community, we have identified many obstacles that hinder Texas from being recognized as a destination for fashion. Having a strong and sustainable bridge to New York, and the elite fashion industry there has been one of them. Now, to be working with the best and most prestigious organization for American fashion, our mission can now be supported, amplified, and given the much-needed injection of creditability that it has deserved for so many years. It is an honor to be the founding members of this program and we intend to be with the CFDA for many years to come, implementing their experience, mentorship, resources, and unparalleled expertise through our programming so that Texas talent can truly succeed as fashion artists and entrepreneurs for the world. This is the beginning of something BIG!” – Burgundy Woods, Founder & President of the Texas Fashion Industry Initiative 501c3

Burgundy Woods, President of the Texas Fashion Industry Initiative

“I feel honored to be on the leadership committee with the CFDA. This is a monumental movement that puts markets like Texas on the map for the growth of the American Fashion Industry and I am truly humbled to receive guidance from the CFDA. This is only the beginning and I can’t wait to see the evolution that flourishes from this partnership. As a Latinx, who dreamed of working in fashion as a youth, a position like this was never even an option. To build something from the ground up and see it come to life is quite surreal. I just hope to serve as an inspiration for people who look like me, grew up like I did, and have dreams similar to mine, and show that doing what you love isn’t just a pipe dream, it can be a reality!” – Jeanelly Concepcion

Jeanelly Concepcion, Vice President of the Texas Fashion Industry Initiative

Stay tuned to Style Lush TV for more information on Texas Fashion Industry Initiative, TEXAS FASHION WEEK™, and CFDA Connects. Applications for participation in TEXAS FASHION WEEK™ will soon go live and Style Lush TV will be the first to launch word exclusively.

Photo by Dona Kaye, Featured Designer Adrian Yunger

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Burgundy Woods
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Burgundy Woods has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music/Music Industries from the University of the Incarnate Word and a Design & Trend Forecasting degree from The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles. She began her career in Hollywood, California, where she worked for major record labels such as Virgin Records, Interscope Records, EMI Music and Capitol Records. Later after attaining her fashion degree, she was discovered by MySpace, Inc. and was immediately hired to be their Fashion Curator starring and producing her show THE B-SPOT Fashion & Trends on their Fashion & Shopping channel. During this time, online media was in its infancy. She and her colleagues pioneered and molded the online fashion media industry resulting in over 10 years of experience in fashion news and 20 years of experience in fashion video content. Many of the stylized ideas and tools that were launched through these platforms are still used to this day as industry standards for online fashion media. Later, with her extensive experience in developing online fashion media, she continued the show independently and has successfully rebranded THE B-SPOT into Style Lush TV online fashion network. Now, with over nine professional years in online fashion media and trend forecasting, she continues to pioneer, maneuver and develop her industry. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Style Lush TV. She is also the President of the Texas Fashion Industry Initiative. The state's official non-profit for the positive growth of the Texas fashion industry.