This morning, the Council of Fashion Designers of America released its nominations for the annual CFDA Awards. Originally scheduled for its award ceremony in June, the council postponed the event due to COVID-19. Like most events this season, the 2020 CFDA Awards will be held digitally the morning of September 14th kicking off New York Fashion Week.
Prior to the CFDA announcing its nominees, the fashion conglomerate, where Tom Ford sits at the helm, released an act of initiatives the council will be putting into place to create, “systemic change,” in which their statement read. This was a direct response to many callouts the fashion industry faced a few weeks ago when the death of George Floyd invited a global conversation about how industries are treating their Black employees and customers. The fashion industry being one that has historically counted Black talent out, reacted by showing support in various ways. CFDA stating that the company will be creating an in-house program to curate an equally diverse industry.
While there are great efforts to create an industry that is representative of all communities, CFDA has had an active participation in creating a racial divide within the fashion industry. In 2018, Aurora James became the second Black woman to be nominated for emerging talent following Carlie Cushie’s nomination when the designer held a partnership at Cushnie et Ochs in 2015. After being nominated last year, designers Telfar Clemons, Virgil Abloh, and Kerby Jean-Raymond have all returned with nominations. Clemons for American Accessories Designer of the Year, Raymond for American Menswear Designer of the Year and Abloh for Global Men’s Designer of the Year. Newcomers Kenneth Nicholson and Christopher John Rogers landed nominations for American Emerging Designer of the Year, Rogers taking home the 2019 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund at the end of last year.
While these designers have all earned this honorable nomination, since the inception of the CFDA awards in 1980, few Black designers have taken home awards, and even fewer Black women have been recognized by the CFDA – at all. For last year’s CFDA awards, all Black designers were snubbed, but hoping the council holds up to their initiative, more Black designers will walk away with their deserving wins.
See full list of categories and nominations below:
American Womenswear Designer of the Year: Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row, Brandon Maxwell, Gabriela Hearst, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford.
American Menswear Designer of the Year: Emily Adams Bode for Bode, Kerby Jean-Raymond for Pyer Moss, Thom Browne, Todd Snyder, 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, 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, Rick Owens.
Global Men’s Designer of the Year: Craig Green, Dries Van Noten, Jonathan Anderson for Loewe, Kim Jones for Dior, Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton.