This year’s CFDA Awards were a casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally scheduled for Monday, June 8, they would’ve kicked off NYFW: Resort and New York’s June men’s collections, both of which were likewise canceled. But the show must go on—virtually at least. This year’s winners will be announced on both CFDA.com and the CFDA’s social channels on Monday, September 14, which is the first day of a shortened New York Fashion Week. It, too, is shaping up to be a largely digital affair.
“In this time of unprecedented challenge and change for our industry, we feel very strongly that it is important to recognize the nominees representing the best of fashion creativity,” Tom Ford, Chairman of the CFDA, said in a press release. “We look forward to returning to an in-person celebration honoring the American fashion industry in 2021.”
The Awards would’ve been the first presided over by Ford as Chairman. He had been planning changes, instituting two new prizes, the Global Women’s Designer of the Year and the Global Men’s Designer of the Year to replace the International Award, which last year went to Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen.
Another difference this year: With no formal ceremony the CFDA has chosen not to name honorees, which tend to add star wattage to the evening. Last year, Jennifer Lopez picked up the Fashion Icon Award, and in 2017 Cecile Richards, Gloria Steinem, and Janelle Monáe shared the Board of Directors’ Tribute.
“In lieu of the in-person event, we will be prioritizing new and existing programming to support our designer community during the global pandemic—by redirecting efforts towards next generation scholarships and making important changes to bring racial equity to the fashion industry,” said Steven Kolb, President and CEO of the CFDA in the same statement.
So far this year the CFDA and Vogue’s fundraising initiative A Common Thread has raised $4.9 million to support members of the American fashion community affected by the crisis, $1 million of which has gone to ICON 360, a new non-profit launched by Brandice Daniel of Harlem’s Fashion Row to provide forgivable relief to designers of color.
Racial equity remains an issue in the industry, however. Of the 15 designers nominated in the top American Awards categories, only Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss and Telfar Clemens are of color. The Emerging Designer category is more diverse and includes Christopher John Rogers, who was last year’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner.
Find a full list of the nominees here:
American Womenswear Designer of the Year: Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row, Brandon Maxwell, Gabriela Hearst, Marc Jacobs, and Tom Ford
American Menswear Designer of the Year: Emily Adams Bode for Bode, Kerby Jean-Raymond for Pyer Moss, Thom Browne, Todd Snyder, and Tom Ford
American Accessories Designer of the Year: Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row, Gabriela Hearst, Jennifer Fisher for Jennifer Fisher Jewelry, Stuart Vevers for Coach, and Telfar Clemens for Telfar
American Emerging Designer of the Year: Christopher John Rogers, Kenneth Nicholson, Peter Do, Reese Cooper, and Sarah Staudinger and George Augusto for Staud
Global Women’s Designer of the Year: Daniel Lee for Bottega Veneta, Dries Van Noten, Miuccia Prada for Prada, Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino, and Rick Owens
Global Men’s Designer of the Year: Craig Green, Dries Van Noten, Jonathan Anderson for Loewe, Kim Jones for Dior, and Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton