The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) announced the winners of its 2020 Fashion Awards on Monday. And the winners represented the most diverse group in the nonprofit’s 39-year history (though only six of the 30 award nominees were BIPOC individuals).
Designer Gabriela Hearst beat out fellow nominees Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row, and Brandon Maxwell to win the American Womenswear Designer of the Year award, while Haitian-American fashion designer Kerby Jean-Raymond, founder of brand Pyer Moss, was named American Menswear Designer of the Year, besting Thom Browne, Emily Adams Bode for Bode, Todd Snyder, and Tom Ford in the process.
The CFDA’s American Accessories Designer of the Year, a category that included just one full-time jewelry designer this year (Jennifer Fisher), went to handbag and accessories designer Telfar Clemens, the Liberian-American designer for Telfar, which launched a small jewelry collection in March. Fans of Telfar’s distinctive “T” leather shopping bags include Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who carries one around Capitol Hill.
The award for American Emerging Designer of the Year went to Christopher John Rogers, while designer Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino bagged the Global Women’s Designer of the Year Award. Dior menswear designer Kim Jones—who was recently named successor to Karl Lagerfeld at Fendi—was crowned Global Men’s Designer of the Year.
It’s been a tough year for fashion and apparel designers and retailers. While jewelry sales are holding steady by most accounts, apparel sales have slumped (but have recently pulled up a bit). The COVID-19 pandemic has also thrown a wet blanket over the annual rundown of splashy events and parties that promote new fashion and help kickstart trends, triggering consumers’ “I need it!” instincts.
The Met Gala, which has been called the “Oscars of Fashion,” was postponed indefinitely in March. And though New York Fashion Week began this week, most shows are virtual.
Top: Telfar logo necklace (image courtesy of Telfar)
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