10 Things You Didn’t Know About Steven Kolb

Steven Kolb is a well-respected figure in the fashion industry, serving as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) since 2006. Known for his dedication to promoting and supporting American fashion designers, Kolb has made significant contributions to the industry. While many are familiar with his professional achievements, there are still many intriguing aspects of his life that remain unknown. In this article, we will delve into 10 things you didn’t know about Steven Kolb.

1. A Passionate Advocate for Mental Health

Beyond his work in the fashion industry, Steven Kolb is a passionate advocate for mental health. Having experienced anxiety and depression himself, Kolb openly shares his struggles to destigmatize mental health issues. He actively encourages open conversations around mental well-being and has pushed for initiatives within the CFDA that promote mental health awareness among fashion industry professionals.

Kolb has collaborated with organizations like the Jed Foundation and Minds Matter to provide resources and support to those in need. His commitment to mental health advocacy has seen him speak at numerous events, sharing his own experiences and inspiring others to seek help and prioritize their mental well-being in a fast-paced industry like fashion.

2. The Founding Father of Fashion Week: Men’s

One of Steven Kolb’s significant contributions to the fashion industry is his role in establishing New York Fashion Week: Men’s. In recognition of the growing prominence of menswear, Kolb spearheaded the initiative to create an exclusive platform for showcasing American menswear designers.

Since its inception in 2015, NYFW: Men’s has served as the premier event for unveiling cutting-edge menswear collections, attracting renowned designers, buyers, editors, and fashion enthusiasts from around the globe. Steven Kolb’s foresight and dedication to the growth of menswear in the industry have solidified NYFW: Men’s as a vital and respected fashion event.

3. A Leader in Sustainable Fashion

Steven Kolb is highly committed to fostering sustainability within the fashion industry. Recognizing the environmental impact of fast fashion and the need for change, Kolb has been instrumental in implementing sustainable practices and initiatives through the CFDA.

Kolb has encouraged American designers to embrace ethical and sustainable practices by providing access to resources and information on sustainable materials, production methods, and supply chain management. He has also championed programs such as CFDA + Lexus Fashion* Initiative, which provides financial support and mentorship to brands focusing on sustainability.

4. A Former Theatre Kid

Prior to his career in fashion, Steven Kolb was a theater enthusiast. As a teenager, Kolb actively participated in school productions and was enamored with the stage. His love for theater instilled in him a sense of storytelling and creativity that would later transfer into his work in the fashion industry.

Although he did not pursue a career in the performing arts, Kolb’s early theatrical experiences shaped his understanding of the transformative power of fashion and its ability to convey narratives and emotions.

5. A Lifelong New Yorker

Born and raised in New York City, Steven Kolb has deep roots in the Big Apple. Being a lifelong New Yorker provides him with a unique perspective on the fashion industry and its connection to the vibrant city he calls home.

Kolb’s close ties to New York have also positioned him as a key figure in supporting local designers and businesses. Through initiatives like “Fashion Manufacturing Initiative,” he has effectively worked towards preserving and strengthening the city’s fashion ecosystem, ensuring that it remains competitive on a global scale.

6. A Believer in Education

Education plays a crucial role in transforming the fashion industry, and Steven Kolb is a firm believer in the power of knowledge. He has emphasized education as a vital aspect of CFDA’s work, striving to provide learning opportunities and resources for emerging designers.

Kolb has championed initiatives like the CFDA+ Program, which offers funding and mentorship to recent design graduates. By fostering education and mentorship, Kolb ensures that the next generation of fashion designers receives the necessary support to succeed and contribute to the industry in meaningful ways.

7. A Strong Supporter of LGBTQ+ Rights

Steven Kolb is an outspoken ally and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. In 2013, he played a pivotal role in launching the CFDA’s “Fashion Stands with Planned Parenthood” campaign, which aimed to raise awareness and funds for reproductive health and LGBTQ+ rights.

Kolb’s dedication to promoting inclusivity and equal rights within the industry extends beyond campaigns. He actively supports LGBTQ+ designers, ensuring their voices are heard and their contributions recognized. Kolb’s efforts towards fostering a more inclusive fashion industry have garnered praise and support from the LGBTQ+ community.

8. A Collector of Fashion Memorabilia

Beyond his involvement in the fashion industry, Steven Kolb has a personal passion for fashion memorabilia. Over the years, he has amassed an extensive collection of fashion artifacts, including vintage garments, accessories, and fashion photography.

Kolb’s collection serves as a testament to his appreciation for the industry’s rich history and its iconic figures. It also reflects his deep respect for the craftsmanship and artistry found within fashion.

9. An Avid Cyclist

When he’s not orchestrating the affairs of the fashion world, Steven Kolb enjoys cycling. Kolb is an avid cyclist, frequently taking to the streets of New York City on his bike.

His love for cycling serves as more than just a hobby; it aligns with his commitment to sustainability and a healthy lifestyle. Kolb often advocates for cycling as an eco-friendly mode of transportation while also promoting the importance of physical well-being.

10. An Inspiring Figure of Integrity

One thing that might surprise people is the consistent integrity that Steven Kolb embodies in his personal and professional life. Throughout his career, Kolb has been known for his honesty, ethics, and principled approach to his work.

His dedication to promoting American fashion designers, championing sustainability, supporting mental health, and advocating for inclusivity has earned him widespread respect and admiration within the industry. Kolb’s unwavering commitment to his values makes him an inspiring figure for aspiring fashion professionals as well as anyone striving to make a positive impact in their chosen field.

As we delve into the life and achievements of Steven Kolb, it becomes evident that he is much more than just a CEO. His multifaceted personality, diverse interests, and unwavering dedication to the betterment of the fashion industry and society as a whole make him a true industry leader and role model.


Useful links:
Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)
Jed Foundation
Minds Matter
CFDA Initiatives
CFDA + Lexus Fashion* Initiative
Planned Parenthood