The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) today announced the appointment of CaSandra Diggs as its new president. Diggs is the first woman and the first person of color named to the role since the organization was founded in 1962.
Diggs was promoted from her previous position as the CFDA’s chief administrative and financial officer, and she has been a member of the organization since 2001. She will report to Steven Kolb, who was previously president and remains CEO of CFDA, as well as the organization’s board of directors.
“CaSandra is an innovative thinker with a strong understanding of organizational and business operations,” said Kolb in a press release announcing the appointment. “Expanding her role will provide the CFDA with more opportunity to meet the needs of the membership in a broad and diverse way. It is a critical time for our industry, and she is the right person with the right ideas to help lead CFDA into the future.”
The appointment comes after months of discourse on the organization, both outside and from within. As the Black Lives Matter took hold amidst protests around the U.S. and the world, the CFDA announced in early June a new series of initiatives, including the strengthening of internships, mentorships and job placement programs within the industry as well as contributions to organizations like the NAACP and Campaign Zero.
The CFDA received some blowback on the announcement, and initiatives like the Black in Fashion Council, the Black Fashion and Beauty Collective and the Kelly Initiative have taken aim at both furthering equality measures and holding the organization accountable for its plans.
Last year, the organization named four designers of color — Virgil Abloh, Kerby Jean-Raymond, Maria Cornejo and Carly Cushnie — to its board of directors.
“CFDA remains a vital pillar of the fashion community,” Diggs said in the announcement. “I am delighted to join Tom Ford and Steven Kolb as we continue to advance and evolve the CFDA into a modern, forward thinking organization that is reflective of our times.”