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The CFDA Awards were not the Oscars of the fashion industry

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

16 Sept 2020


New York Fashion Week ends today with the previously postponed CFDA Awards to have been a highlight of the five-day event. CNN heralds the annual American fashion ceremony as the “Oscars of the fashion world,” but the reality was anything but.

Livestreamed via CFDA’s Runway360 platform, the CFDA was heavily criticized last month when the New York Times called out the lack of novelty among the creatives vying for the awards. CFDA Chairman Tom Ford, a nominee, was previously honoured with the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014, not counting the other 6 CFDA Awards collected over the years. Marc Jacobs, who was among the candidates for womenswear, already has 8 statuettes to his credit, the Olsen twins of The Row have won four previous categories.

Still, this is the first CFDA Awards ceremony that recognised the most inclusive group of winners in the history of the event which saw Kerby Jean-Raymond from Pyer Moss take the accolade for menswear designer of the year, Telfar Clemens for accessories and Christopher John Rogers recognised as emerging designer of the year.

In foregoing a gala, the CFDA said it would channel extra resources into its Scholar Awards and making racial equity a priority. As a result, the scholarships were nearly doubled in value, from the annual sum of 100,000 dollars to 175,000 dollars, and will see a total of seven scholarships of 25,000 dollars each. These grants provide opportunities to talented designers who may not otherwise have the opportunity to study and enter the industry. They may be the real winners.

Image via CFDA Awards Video