The Council of Fashion Designers Awards, often called the “Oscars of Fashion” celebrated a number of prominent Black fashion designers at an online ceremony Monday night. Black fashion designers took home of three of the six coveted awards, including Haitian-American Kerby Jean-Raymond, who took home the prestigious American Menswear Designer of the Year.
The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc. (CFDA) is a not-for-profit trade association founded in 1962, whose membership consists of 477 of America’s foremost womenswear, menswear, jewelry and accessory designers.
Other figures recognized by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) include New York-based Christopher John Rogers, who has dressed the likes of Michelle Obama and was named American Emerging Designer of the Year. Liberian-American designer Telfar Clemens meanwhile won Accessory Designer of the Year after gaining a remarkably loyal following for his signature bags, one of which was famously sported by congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Capitol Hill.
American Womenswear Designer of the Year — the night’s most sought-after award — went to Uruguayan-born Gabriela Hearst, a champion of sustainable practices. Valentino’s creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli won International Womenswear Designer of the Year, and Kim Jones, who has just been named Karl Lagerfeld’s successor at Italian label Fendi, won International Men’s Designer of the Year.
Originally scheduled for June, the prestigious awards ceremony was initially postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers instead opted for a virtual show to coincide with New York Fashion Week, which kicked off Sunday night. The number of award categories was also reduced from 11 to six, with the CFDA this year focusing solely on designers, rather than models or other industry figures.
“Not having a gala allows us to focus on supporting designers during the global pandemic and redirecting our efforts towards scholarships and bringing racial equity to fashion,” said CFDA chairman and designer, Tom Ford, via an announcement on Runway360, a digital platform being used to host a number of fashion week events.