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Engineering a Sale Behind the Scenes of Fashion Week

Everyone is familiar with New York’s Fashion Week, which now encompasses more than 350 fashion shows and events. Only fashion industry insiders know – and have come to depend on – the Fashion Calendar, which was founded by Ruth Finley Lein in 1945 and became the preeminent organization for the scheduling of those events.

Its 700+ subscribers include designers, photographers and other fashion industry leaders. In October 2014, Steven Holt , with the assistance of Casey Gocel , represented the Fashion Calendar and its founder in structuring and negotiating its sale to its longtime collaborator, the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).

“The Fashion Calendar has been one of the foundations of our industry, ensuring that the press, retailers and designers are able to come together in an efficient manner,” CFDA President Diane von Furstenberg said in a press release announcing the acquisition. “Now that it is part of the CFDA, we are prepared and excited to take it into the new world.” As Ms. Lein’s son, Larry Lein, noted, “Ruth never wants to stop working. She is over 90 now and still very much going strong. The Fashion Calendar has been her life, so we had to figure out a transition that would enable her to keep staying involved.” Steven, who has represented Ms. Lein for more than 20 years as her personal estate planning and business advisor, collaborated with her son to creatively plan the transition and her ongoing involvement, consistent with her desire to preserve her legacy.