The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and Cadillac (a division of General Motors, No. 48 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list) announced the next five designers participating in Retail Lab, a mentorship program that gives fashion designers a real-world education in retail, including a rotating physical retail space at Cadillac House: Cushnie et Ochs, Public School, Tanya Taylor, Pamela Love and Prabal Gurung.
The five designers will be part of the 2016/2017 term and will open their respective retail shops for a three-month period while in the mentorship program.
Retail Lab is an initiative in which designers are selected through a competitive application process to gain valuable retail experience under the tutelage of fashion industry experts. Cushnie et Ochs will be the second featured designer and will open October 1, following the inaugural designer Timo Weiland.
“We’re excited to be the next brand participating in the CFDA’s Retail Lab at Cadillac House,” said Carly Cushnie of Cushnie et Ochs. “As we formulate our plans to open the first Cushnie et Ochs retail store, it will be immensely helpful for us to learn from the experience of opening and operating a pop-up retail location and to benefit from the guidance and expertise of the Retail Lab’s mentoring team.”
“The Retail Lab is an ideal opportunity to curate and convey the complete Cushnie et Ochs brand story and experience to our customer,” added Michelle Ochs. “We look forward to having the opportunity to spend time with our retail customer, and to further understand their preferences and needs.”
Retail Lab is also supported by way of store fixtures provided by Alu, mannequins from DK Display, hangers from Henry Hangers and innovative 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 seven days a week, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 12-6 p.m. Sunday.
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.
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; 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.