Needless to say, this year has been a wakeup call for fashion as the industry confronts stock surplus issues, diversity, and adapting to fashion week and presentations in the midst of a pandemic. But the show must go on, albeit with several notable changes.
To kick off New York Fashion Week, the Council of Fashion Designers of America did away with a flashy gala and held a virtual Fashion Awards on Monday on the CFDA’s new Runway360 platform, featuring a 10-minute video hosted by Tom Ford. But the biggest change yet had to be the winners.
For the first time in CFDA history, three Black designers took home top prizes in a single year. This includes Kerby Jean-Raymond for menswear designer of the year for Pyer Moss, Telfar Clemens for accessories designer of the year for Telfar and Christopher John Rogers for the American emerging talent award. The winners were determined by the CFDA Awards Guild which consisted of a body of journalists, editors, retailers, and other fashion industry professionals.
This also makes the first time a black designer has taken home a menswear prize since 2014 with Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow. Puff Daddy had also won the prize in 2003 for his Sean John collection.
Christopher John Rogers nabbed the honour of Emerging Designer of the Year under a tough category that consisted of Peter Do and Kenneth Nicolson.
Uruguay-born Gabriela Hearst is the winner of the American Womenswear Designer of the Year, which makes for the first women designer since Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen won for The Row in 2015, and the only woman among this year’s winners.
Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli and Dior menswear director Kim Jones also received prizes for International Women’s and Men’s Designer of the Year, respectively.
The annual showcase honours the best of American and international design talent that best represents fashion’s movers and shakers. The CFDA Fashion Awards are also issuing a series of $25,000 USD scholarships to seven graduating fashion students.