Fashion Forward Designers 2009 CFDA Nominees

ESSENCE.com celebrates the creativity of the talented designers nominated for the Council of Fashion Designer of America (CDFA) 2009 Awards taking place tonight in New York City. The CDFA is recognized for developing America’s top fashion forward thinkers. Check out this year’s crop of nominee’s and the celebrities who covet them.
ESSENCE.COM Jun, 12, 2009

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ESSENCE.com celebrates the creativity of the talented designers nominated for the Council of Fashion Designer of America (CDFA) 2009 Awards taking place tonight in New York City. The CDFA is recognized for developing America’s top fashion-forward thinkers. The event will also honor First Lady Michelle Obama. Check out this year’s crop of nominees and the celebrities who covet them.

By Cynthia Caban

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Womenswear Designer of the Year Nominee
Lil’ Kim is a huge Marc Jacobs fan and they’re actually very good friends too. While in prison, Kim says of Jacobs: “He wrote me every week.” Though he apparently did not design any of her “Dancing with The Stars” costumes, Jacobs’s style is behind many of Kim’s fashionable looks. Head-to-toe chartreuse may be a bit much but get inspired by the classic cut of this stylish suit.

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Womenswear Designer of the Year Nominee
This label is designed by sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy. The hot young duo have only been around for four years and they’ve already joined the ranks of fashion’s elite. Rodate designed the ripped leather thigh highs that Rihanna was spotted in recently.

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Womenswear Designer of the Year Nominee
Narciso Rodriguez is one of the top go-to designers for Hollywood’s hardcore fashionistas. Rodriguez has outfitted Kerry Washington, Alica Keys and First Lady Michelle Obama.

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Menswear Designer of the Year Nominee
Being the menswear director for Bergdorf Goodman for five years prepared Michael Bastian to launch his own collection. Bastian designs clothes for the modern man, favoring looks that are luxurious yet broken in and familiar. Abstract hip-hop artist Kid Cudi is a fan as seen here at the designer’s presentation during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2009.

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Menswear Designer of the Year Nominee
You know you’ve made it as a fashion designer if Kanye West approves. He’s so enamored with the Band of Outsiders that he modeled in their fall 2009 collection and then posted the pictures on his blog.

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Menswear Designer of the Year Nominee
John Legend is single-handedly making it cool to look dapper again. Legend likes rocking crowds in Calvin Klein suits. No one on the corner has swagger like him.

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Accessory Designer of the Year Nominee
Marc Jacobs’s design genius is being recognized in two categories this year. Jacobs’s looks range from street-inspired styles to elegant gowns. He is also the creative director at fashion house Louis Vuitton. Beyoncé is among the A-listers who love MJ, as seen here donning one his creations.

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Accessory Designer of the Year Nominee
Proenza Schouler designs are always feminine with modern detailing and construction. Rihanna, Tracee Ellis Ross and Rashida Jones are staples at their runway shows.

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Accessory Designer of the Year Nominee
Vera Wang is known for her timelessly decadent wedding gowns. The designer also has her name on accessories, fragrances and even a mattress line. Can’t afford a Wang wedding? Check out her lower priced Simply Vera collection available at Kohls department stores and kohls.com.

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Swarovski Award for Womenswear Nominee
First Lady Michelle Obama’s influence on fashion has been tremendous. Mrs. Obama has worn each of the nominees in this category, catapulting them to uncharted fame and spotlight. Model Jordan Dunn, pictured here, rips the runway at Thakoon’s fall 2009 show.

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Swarovski Award for Womenswear Nominee
Cover girl sensation Arlenis Sosa wore this Alexander Wang dress and blazer off of the runway to a charity event. Give yourself an instant hourglass shape by pairing a brightly colored skirt with a black top and menswear-like blazer.

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Swarovski Award for Womenswear Nominee
Jason Wu blew up overnight after First Lady Michelle Obama wore his creation to the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball. The 26-year-old designer had no idea that the First Lady would be wearing his design until he was sitting in front of the TV watching like the rest of America. Now that’s what we call a lucky break!

Mrs. Obama will be receiving the CDFA Board of Directors Special Tribute for her influence on fashion.

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