France's Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture—the regulating commission that determines which fashion brands are eligible to be dubbed as "true" haute couture houses—has welcomed five new guest members to its fold for the July shows in Paris.
Two American brands, Proenza Schouler and Rodarte—both of which recently announced they would eschew New York Fashion Week and show in Paris this summer—were elected alongside three other labels to be guests on the fall couture calendar which will take place from July 2 to 6.
The other brands selected were husband-and-wife team An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx, behind Belgian label A.F. Vandevorst; historic French brand Azzaro, and Dutch designer Ronald van der Kemp.
The association—one of several Chambres Syndicales that make up the Fédération Française De La Couture Du Prêt-à-Porter established in 1973—has strict rules about which labels can use the appellation "haute couture", which is legally protected and stands for supreme quality, traditional know-how, handwork and tailor-made.
Currently, only a restricted club of just 15 houses have been granted the coveted designation (including Chanel, Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Maison Margiela and Giambattista Valli), however, the program of Parisian parades in July and January is regularly opened to "invited members" who do not necessarily meet these criteria, such as ready-to-wear apparel brands.