The 2016 CFDA Awards took place at the Hammerstein Ballroom in the city that never sleeps. Hosted by Joel McHale, the event was certainly the buzz of the year for the fashion industry, with 30 nominated designers vying for the shiny statue.
Marc Jacobs emerged as a clear winner for Womenswear Designer of the Year, while Thom Browne received his second Menswear Designer of the Year award, presented by Alexander Skarsgård. Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel of Mansur Gavriel, most famous for their iconic bucket bags, walked away with the award for Accessories Design of the Year.
Honorary awards for emerging designers for womenswear, menswear and accessories were also awarded to Brandon Maxwell, Alex Orley, Matthew Orley and Samantha Orley of Orley, and Paul Andrew respectively. Each of the designers have been invited to be a part of the CFDA Swarovski Emerging Talent Award Mentorship Program.
The legacy of the late fashion icon and musical genius, David Bowie was remembered with the Board of Directors’ Special Tribute Award, with Tilda Swinton graciously accepting the award on the family’s behalf.
Said Diane von Fürstenberg, Director of the CFDA: “What really matters is talent. Talent is the solution and talent is what we celebrate tonight.” But all that glitter is not gold. No doubt there is immeasurable talent behind all the beautiful pieces we see, but it is also a result of many sleepless hours the designers have laboured over. As Beyoncé accepts her Fashion Icon Award, she speaks of her humble roots, how her mother’s talent as a seamstress supported her career as a budding singer through challenging times, and how fashion has the ability to inspire and empower people to embrace ourselves for who we are.
Other winners of the event include Norma Kamali for the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award, a fitting title for the mastermind behind the iconic red bathing suit worn by Farrah Fawcett’s in Charlie’s Angels; Donna Karan for The Founder’s Award in Honour of Eleanor Lambert handed to her by Calvin Klein, both of them a household name due to their immense success; Alessandro Michele, creative director of Gucci for the International Award; and Imran Amed, founder of The Business of Fashion for the Media Award in Honour of Eugenia Sheppard.