Cadillac and the CFDA have embarked on a new journey: The Retail Lab.
Unveiled at Cadillac’s global headquarters in New York on Tuesday evening, the Retail Lab is an innovative new program that provides tangible value to designers in a multifaceted way. Case in point: a custom retail shop located on the ground floor of Cadillac’s headquarters coupled with a mentorship program.
There will berotation of designers selected in a competitive application process for the 2016/2017 term. Each designer will open the respective retail shop for three months and receive invaluable mentorship, starting with Timo Weiland this July.
“Our ongoing partnership with the CFDA represents Cadillac’s unwavering commitment to the fashion community and its growth,” said Melody Lee, Director, Brand Strategy & Planning at Cadillac. “Retail Lab will give designers a space in the heart of Cadillac’s headquarters, along with the tools, training and inspiration to take their business to the next level.”
The Retail Lab program is funded by Cadillac and features key elements integral to success in retail, including business development, marketing and PR. 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 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.”
A team of experts across fashion, retail, business and technology has come together to form the Advisory Board, which will curate the program curriculum, develop a Retail Lab handbook and provide valuable mentorship guidance throughout. It 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 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 CFDA worked with Redscout, the brand strategy and innovation agency, to develop the visual identity for The Retail Lab.