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Apr 7, 2016
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CFDA and Cadilac launch Retail Lab program

Published
Apr 7, 2016

Cadillac and the CFDA announced Tuesday evening the launch of the Retail Lab, a custom retail shop that provides tangible value to designers.


Timo Weiland, Donna Kang and Alan Eckstein


 
The Retail Lab program is funded by Cadillac and features key elements integral to success in retail, including business development, marketing and PR. Cadillac will cover the costs associated with a retail space, such as real estate, display units, mannequins, signage and point of sale system, and it will provide each designer with a $75,000 grant to put towards wholesale buys, sales support and marketing. The first designer to participate in the program will be Timo Weiland.
 
Timo Weiland launched his eponymous fashion label with Alan Eckstein and Donna Kang in 2010 and has developed a following with celebrities, including Kerry Washington, Elizabeth Banks, Elijah Wood and Andrew Garfield.

Weiland is one of six designers that will participate in 2016/2017 term of the Retail Lab, and each designer will open their respective retail shop for three months while under the mentorship program. The six participating designers are selected through a competitive application process
 
"The CFDA is always looking for meaningful programs that help strengthen the impact of American Fashion," said Steven Kolb, President and CEO of the CFDA. "Every designer aspires to a freestanding retail experience that allows them to tell their brand story and connect directly with consumers. Cadillac's commitment to the industry will help the selected designers make this a reality."
 
CFDA and Cadillac 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 mentorship.
 
The Advisory Board members include Billy Reid; Bobby Schuessler, Who What Wear; Darcy Penick, Shopbop /East Dane; Jan-Hendrik Schlottmann, Derek Lam; Jay Silver, CBiz; 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.
 
The Retail Lab application process opened on April 6 and it will remain open through May 6. The Advisory Board will select five designers for the 2016/2017 term at the end of May.

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