New Work: ‘IMPACT: 50 Years of the CFDA’
Video of our graphics, projections and interactive displays at the opening of IMPACT.
This season’s New York Fashion Week kicked off with the opening of IMPACT: 50 Years of the Council of Fashion Designers of America a commemorative exhibition at the Museum at FIT. Founded in 1962, the CFDA is the leading trade organization of the U.S. fashion industry and currently has a membership of over 400 of America’s foremost womenswear, menswear, jewelry and accessory designers. Conceived by CFDA President Diane von Furstenberg, IMPACT is the first museum exhibition to celebrate the organization and features over 100 garments and accessories designed by its members over the past five decades. The show remains on view at FIT through April 20.
Pentagram has a longstanding collaboration with the CFDA—Michael Bierut designed the organization’s identity in 1991—and was invited to create graphics and installations for the exhibition. Eddie Opara and his team have designed dynamic media that highlight the work of the nearly 600 designer-members who have graced the organization since its inception. Michael Bierut and Katie Barcelona contributed a fashionable identity and graphics for the exhibition.
For the exhibition, Von Furstenberg wanted to find a way to celebrate and acknowledge the work of all CFDA members, past and present. Opara and his team created projections that feature images of work by the approximately 600 designer members who have been part of the CFDA, going back to 1962. Arranged alphabetically in the projection, the members’ images have been tied together with a transition that appears to refract the images through the facets of a diamond. The projections are displayed on facing walls in the main gallery, above mannequins wearing iconic pieces designed by members over the history of the organization.
Excerpt of the ‘diamond’ projection created for the exhibition.
To provide an in-depth look at the organization, Opara and his team created a special app that is displayed on 10 iPads in the exhibition atrium. Visitors can scroll through a timeline of signature moments in CFDA history, look up the nearly 600 members via a designer directory, or view the membership as a slideshow of designers and their work. To make the presentation accessible to people who might not be able to make it to the exhibition, the CFDA wanted the app to work in both a browser and iPad. The app can be experienced online here.
Social media is now an important component of Fashion Week––fashion fans can follow the “you are there” tweets of designers, editors and buyers direct from the runways––and IMPACT incorporates a Twitter presence in the form of a special hashtag, “#IMPACTcfda.” Tweets using the hashtag are displayed on a 40-inch monitor in the gallery.
The exhibition graphics include an elegant identity set in the font Chronicle Display. The identity appears at the exhibition’s various entrances—including a logo wall used as a step-and-repeat at the glittering opening—and in a “high-impact” superscale display in a stairwell between floors in the exhibition.
Exhibition app and projections: Eddie Opara, partner-in-charge and designer; Brankica Harvey, Felix Koutchinski, designers; Mark Lindsay, developer; Erin Wahed, project manager.
Exhibition graphics: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer; Katie Barcelona, designer.
Videographer: Andrew Barry.