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Steven Kolb: I wasn't familiar with fashion

Steven Kolb: I wasn't familiar with fashion

Steven Kolb’s lack of fashion knowledge helped him land the job at the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

The CEO, along with President Diane von Furstenberg, is synonymous with the organisation, which aims to strengthen the influence and success of US designers in the global market.

Prior to his appointment Steven worked in the non-profit sector, raising money for AIDS and cancer.

“I think what got me hired is that I didn't come from fashion. I was a not-for-profit person. I had 20-plus years working in not-for-profit, and I think that's the skill set that the selection committee responded positively to, and that's why they hired me,” Steven explained to Fashionista.

“You come into an organisation, and you know what you know and you apply that. The fashion stuff wasn't really that hard because you learn very quickly, and you learn just by people telling you and being very aware and not being afraid to ask questions.”

At the CFDA Michael Kors is vice president along with Rag & Bones’ Marcus Wainwright, and Vera Wang sits as general secretary.

Steven’s understanding of the fashion industry has greatly evolved since he joined the council in 2006, and he laughs that he didn’t used to know contemporary, young brands like Proenza Schouler.

“I like a lot about [fashion]. I like that it's creative. I think that's the best part,” he smiled. “Creative people I find fascinating. I've said that before and people are like, ‘Oh that's not true,’ but I'll say it again: I'm creative in a certain way, but I'm not creative like a designer's creative, so to be around that energy and around that process, that's cool.”

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