Annually, American fashion designers and style icons who make their remarks in the fashion industry are acknowledged by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc. (CFDA). CFDA 2019 Awards was held at Brooklyn Museum, on June 3. This year, CFDA has chosen the award-winning Fashion Designer, Film Director, Screenwriter, and film producer Tom Ford to succeed Diane von Furstenberg who had been at the helm as the President and Chairman of CFDA for 13 years. Tom Ford’s role as the new Chairman starts from June 3. 2019.
CFDA was founded in 1962 by publicist Eleanor Lambert. It is a non-profit trade association of over 500 American womenswear, menswear, jewellery, and accessory designers. It has a mission to strengthen the influence and success of American designers in the global economy. In 2009, Diane von Fürstenberg was appointed as the group’s president, after she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from CFDA for her impact on fashion. During her tenure, she has dedicated herself to fostering emerging talent and helping to establish the Design Piracy Prohibition Act, which protects designers from counterfeit reproductions of their work.
In addition to hosting the annual CFDA Fashion Awards, the organization seeks to develop future American design talent through scholarships and support and resources in high schools, colleges, and post-graduate schools. The CFDA also provides funds to support working designers during their careers and provides business opportunities for its members. Through the CFDA Foundation, it mobilizes its membership to support charitable causes.
CFDA does not only host the annual award, but it also owns the Fashion Calendar and hold the New York Fashion Week. Although it has a noble mission for the fashion industry in America, Business of Fashion stated that CFDA membership has shrunk in recent years, with total dues decreasing from $1.4 million in 2016 to $1 million in 2017, according to the group’s latest annual report. Revenue also dipped, from $15.4 million in 2016 to $12.5 million in 2017.
As the new Chairman of CFDA, it’s interesting to see what kind of real changes that Tom Ford brings to the table. In a statement from the CFDA, Ford said: “I have had the privilege of being a member of the American Fashion community for many years and have experienced what the CFDA does for its members and the industry as a whole.”
“Having lived and worked in each of the global fashion capitals of the world, I look forward to working with the Board of Directors to further the voice of American Fashion and its designers,” said the 57-year-old.
THE CFDA 2019 WINNERS
CFDA presents four awards to honour the achievements of the best fashion and accessory designers. It includes Womenswear Designer of the Year, Menswear Designer of the Year, Accessory Designer of the Year, and Emerging Designer of the Year. Other than those four categories, there are also five honorees for special awards: Fashion Icon Award, Founders Award, Media Award in Honor of Eugenia Sheppard, Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award, and Board of Directors’ Tribute.
Check out the full list of CFDA 2019 winners:
Womenswear Designer of the Year
Winner: Brandon Maxwell
Kate Mulleavy and Laura Mulleavy, Rodarte
Sander Lak, Sies Marjan
Menswear Designer of the Year
Winner: Rick Owens
Mike Amiri, Amiri
Virgil Abloh, Off-White
Kerby Jean-Raymond, Pyer Moss
Thom Browne, Thom Browne New York
Accessory Designer of the Year
Winner: Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen, The Row
Jennifer Fisher, Jennifer Fisher Jewelry
Virgil Abloh, Off-White
Telfar Clemens, Telfar
Emerging Designer of the Year
Winner: Emily Adams Bode, Bode
Beth Bugdaycay, Foundrae
Catherine Holstein, Khaite
Sarah Staudinger and George Augusto, Staud
Fashion Icon Award: Jennifer Lopez
Founders Award: Carine Roitfeld, Founder of CR Studios.
Media Award in Honour of Eugenia Sheppard, Contributing Editor of Vogue magazine
Positive Change Award: Eileen Fisher, Fashion Designer
Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti International Award: Sarah Burton, Creative Director of Alexander McQueen
Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award: Bob Mackie, Costume Designer
Board of Director’s Tribute: Barbie. As CFDA describes Barbie, “Her social reach continues to grow by the millions. She’s run for President six times. She beat Neil Armstrong to the moon. And with 60 years of experience and over 200 careers and counting, she’s made an indelible mark on society while continuously inspiring all ages to believe that they can be anything.”