Is it easier for men to survive in the fashion world than women? Why female designers struggle to get noticed in competitive industry


Is it easier for men to survive in the fashion world than women Why female designers struggle to get noticed in competitive industry

PUBLISHED:

21:50 GMT, 1 May 2012

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UPDATED:

21:50 GMT, 1 May 2012

A host of major fashion industry names have spoken out about the favouritism towards male designers.

Three-quarters of last year's Council Of Fashion Designers Of America Award winners, which included Marc Jacobs and Prabal Gurung, were made up of men.

It is a curious figure considering that
85per cent of graduates from Parsons, one of the city's top fashion schools, are women.

Dominate: Fashionsitas have said the industry favours men over women like Diane von Furstenberg, pictured above with GQ staff and the CFDA's Steven Kolb (right)

Stars: Fashionsitas beileve women like Diane von Furstenberg, pictured above with GQ staff and the CFDA's Steven Kolb (right), play second fiddle to men

Now Style.com has questioned whether it is easier for men to survive in the fashion world than women.

Sophie Buhai, of the label Vena Cava told the site that fashion industry success relies on the
favoritism of magazine editors.

She said: 'We see a lot of women who don't get as much attention as the male designers who are adored by editors.'

The CFDA/ Vogue Fashion Fund, which
brings together a panel of well-respected fashion personalities who vote
on annual award winners, also found that men dominate the talent pool.

Marc Jacobs

Prabal Gurung

Fashion stars: Marc Jacobs (left) and Prabal Gurung (right) were both recipents of the Council of Fashion Designers of America Award last year

Its top honours have only gone to two female recipients, Doo-Ri Chung and Sophie Theallet, in its eight-year history.

There is no denying that designers such as Diane von Furstenberg, Vera Wang, Donna Karen, Carolina Herrera, The Row's Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen, Rodarte's Kate and Laura Mulleavy and Celine's Phoebe Philo have all built solid names for themselves.

Rare bird: Phoebe Philo, the designer behind Celine, was honoured at the 2011 CFDA Awards (above)

Rare bird: Phoebe Philo, the designer behind Celine, was honoured at the 2011 CFDA Awards (above)

And while it is no secret that magazines wield a significant amount of power within the New York fashion industry, are women being intentionally excluded

It could come down to how some women prioritise their family life over their career, according to Norma Kamali.

The designer of the iconic red swimsuit Farrah Fawcett wore in the 1976 Charlie's Angel promotional poster, said: 'There was a point in my life, I had to stop and think, do I want to have children or do I want to do this'

But
in March of this year, an eight-month-pregnant Ms Philo proved that a
female designer is able to have the best of both worlds.

Her decision to invite only a handful of
magazine editors to her Fall 2012 show for Celine was well received. In
fact, it added further exclusivity to the ultra-hip and somewhat
elusive label.

Maria Cornejo, the New York designer
behind Zero and Maria Cornejo, said: 'Bless Phoebe. She's saying, “you
know what, I'm having a kid and that takes priority”.'

Mrs Cornejo added that men work differently to women.

She said they have a different 'business model.'

Daniella
Vitale, the chief women's merchant at Barney's, argued that a
designer's gender plays no part in sales. It is all about the designs
themselves.

She said: '[Customers] respond to the design, quality, fit, and aesthetic. It's not gender-specific.'