CFDA Awards honor this year’s fashion innovators 

Patricia Prado

The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) welcomed distinguished individuals from both the realms of fashion and entertainment at this year’s CFDA awards held on Nov. 7.

Commemorating its 60th anniversary, CFDA partnered with Amazon Fashion to honor those who exemplify and go beyond the organization’s mission statement to “strengthen the impact of American fashion in the global economy.”

Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez kick off the night by introducing CFDA CEO Steven Kolb.

Since its founding in 1962, Kolb explained how the CFDA “has been the voice of American fashion” for the past six decades, focusing on “pillars such as diversity, sustainability, membership support, business development, supply chain, student scholarships, philanthropy and New York Fashion Week.”

Winners and nominees are chosen through the vote of the CFDA Fashion Awards Guild, which consists of more than 500 members.

The night included the presentation of awards for 14 different categories such as designer of the year for both American womenswear and menswear, along with this year’s new addition of the stylist award given to Law Roach and Amazon Innovation award to Kim Kardashian, Jens Grede and Emma Grede of SKIMS.

Amazon Fashion president Muge Erdirik Dogan explained how the award celebrates a designer who successfully innovates American fashion with leading “branding/marketing, social media, customer engagement, performance, or product development,” and how they shape how consumers shop. SKIMS, quite literally, does just that.

Since its launch in 2019, SKIMS has created a brand that reinforces body positivity with its clothing and shapewear. Its goal in promoting inclusivity in the fashion industry as a norm is somethiall companies should strive for, as opposed to pursuing inclusivity as a temporary trend.

Kardashian spoke on behalf of her and her co-founders, displaying their gratitude for SKIMS customers who have allowed the company to continue their mission of innovating by “embracing size equality and diversity as a fixture, not just a trend.”

This year’s fashion icon award is awarded to rock star Lenny Kravitz, a man of musical talent whose image proves his capability of meshing both music and fashion to flow cohesively through his sense of personal style.

In his speech, Kravitz reminisced about his childhood  and expressed gratitude for his mother’s leniency towards how he dressed growing up, allowing him to learn that “being yourself is the most important thing you can do and that you’re going to make mistakes.”

Kravitz reassured that “fashion fails are normal and welcomed,  allowing us to learn and evolve.

The CFDA paid tribute and honored the legacy of one of their very own by posthumously awarding the Board of Trustee’s Award to fashion designer and visionary Virgil Abloh.

Aurora James presented the award to Abloh’s wife, Shannon, who commemorated his impact on CFDA.

“Virgil, you have left a space in our family that we will mourn always,” she said.

James, who presented the award, said that his legacy is “impossibly too big to fill” but in his honor, they will take what they have learned from the designer to not try to fill his shoes, but “instead to reimagine walking completely.”