The CFDA Awards are known as the Oscars of fashion with good reason. The annual event is really fashion’s most important night because it’s more about the industry.
It’s the evening when the Council of Fashion Designers of America rewards and recognizes its own. This year’s event was sponsored by Amazon Fashion. Winner’s, chosen from a slate of worthy nominees, were:
Designer of the Year for Womenswear– Catherine Holstein for Khaite. She’s one of the most exciting emerging designers working today.
Designer of the Year for Menswear– Emily Bode Aujlal for Bode. This is Bode’s second win.
Emerging Designer of the Year – Elena Velez. The Parson’s graduate at 28 already has an edgy provocative, socially conscious approach that defines her brand.
Accessories Designer of the Year – Raul Lopez for Luar (Raul spelt backwards). A co-founder of Hood by Air, Lopez has attracted attention from Dua Lipa and ASAP Rocky
Special recognitions went to Jeffrey Banks for his career contributions in preppy American menswear for almost five decades. Banks, an African American groundbreaking designer, worked at Ralph Lauren as well as having his own signature collection for years.
Lenny Kravitz – The Fashion Icon Award.
The sexy rock star paid tribute to his mother, trailblazing actor Roxie Roker, who was amazing in the traillblazing “The Jeffersons” TV hit. Of his mother, Kravitz told WWD: “There was never a moment when she didn’t look perfect.”
I once had the pleasure of seeing Roker and Kravitz shopping together at the legendary Barneys Sample sale years ago. My friend and I, a prominent fashion publicist, approachedr her, introduced ourselves and gushed over her. At that moment, Kravitz was the secondary star to us – and you know what? He LOVED it! You could see the smiles and pleasure on his face as he watched us fan out over his then retired – and still gorgeous – mother.
CFDA’s first Stylist Award went to the incredible Law Roach. He continues to redefine what a stylist is.
The Eugenia Shepherd media award went to a well-deserving behind-the-scenes talent and sweetheart – stylist Patti Wilson, whose worked with major photographers and celebrities from Beyonce to Miley Cyrus.
House of Slay – not to be confused with my book on Black style “How To Slay” – won for Positive Social Impact Award.
The Slaysians were represented by designers Phillip Lim, Prabal Gurung, Tina Leung, and Laura Kim of Monse and Oscar de la Renta, who combated Asian hate crimes and support the oppressed in Nepal. It should be noted Lim has long been an activist for equality for Blacks in fashion also.
Andrew Bolton, Met curator, was recognized for his Costume Institute exhibits, and Skims received the Innovation Award, accepted by its founders Kim Kardashian in skintight black and the married couple Jens and Emma Grede. Emma is the brain behind the Good American collection, co-founded by Khloe Kardashian, who chose hotness last night in a cocoa-colored LaQuan Smith design.
The United Nations accepted the Environmental Sustainability Award
LA-based Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award winners Chrome Hearts which two decades ago was the buzziest brands coming out of L.A. with their rocker- meets-Harley rider chic.
Red Carpet Trends
To that end, the mood on the carpet was decidedly Goth with Kardashian and several other celebs opting for Black. Cher made a surprise appearance in black too. It made for a glamorous if somber fashion message. KK’s sister Kylie Jenner wore black Mugler. Other celebs who went with the safe choice included red-carpet host Christine Quinn and Patti Wilson.
Some red carpet walkers ravished in skin-tight dresses, others like Regina Hall in Jason Wu, went monastic with high necklines and maximum coverage.
Lips were thee beauty mark – deep purple, black or bold red – the lips said it all – pucker up for a kiss or get ready for a vampiric bite..