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CFDA announces 2021 nominees for Fashion Awards

By Rachel Douglass

Sep 16, 2021


Image: CFDA

The Council of Fashion Designers of America has revealed its nominees and honourees for the 2021 Fashion Awards, for what will be the organisations first in-person ceremony in two years.

The awards aim to highlight the best of American fashion, with nominations submitted by CFDA Fashion Awards Guild board members, as well as retailers, journalists and stylists. This year’s nominee roundup sees a number of both new and returning faces on the agenda, including the previous International Women’s Designer of the Year, Pierpaolo Picciolo of Valentino, and Telfar Clemens who won American Accessories Designer of the Year.

Last year the awards faced heavy criticism from various sectors of the industry after being called out by the New York Times for the awards’ lack of novelty among the nominees, with the publication noting the repetitive nature of award winners. However, the organisation was recognised for presenting its most diverse group of recipients to date and has also increased its funding for its Scholars Award, providing supportive grants for emerging designers.

This year’s nominees

American Womenswear Designer of the Year

  • Catherine Holstein for Khaite
  • Christopher John Rogers
  • Gabriela Hearst
  • Marc Jacobs
  • Peter Do

American Menswear Designer of the Year

  • Emily Adams Bode for Bode
  • Jerry Lorenzo for Fear of God
  • Mike Amiri for AMIRI
  • Telfar Clemens for Telfar
  • Thom Browne

American Accesories Designer of the Year

  • Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row
  • Aurora James for Brother Vellies
  • Gabriela Hearst
  • Stuart Vevers for Coach
  • Telfar Clemens for Telfar

American Emerging Designer of the Year

  • Edvin Thompson for Theophilio
  • Eli Russell Linnetz for ERL
  • Jameel Mohammed for KHIRY
  • Kenneth Nicholson
  • Maisie Schloss for Maisie Wilen

International Women’s Designer of the Year

  • Daniel Lee for Bottega Veneta
  • Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga
  • Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons for Prada
  • Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino
  • Simon Porte Jacquemus for Jacquemus

International Men’s Designer of the Year

  • Daniel Lee for Bottega Veneta
  • Dries Van Noten
  • Grace Wales Bonner for Wales Bonner
  • Rick Owens
  • Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton

“The 2021 CFDA Fashion Awards mark the much-anticipated in-person return to our biggest fundraiser for CFDA’s scholarship programmes,” said Steven Kold, CFDA CEO, in the announcement. “We’re also incredibly pleased to see several talented names among the nominees for the first time. American fashion is experiencing a renewed energy, and these designers play a significant role in the future trajectory of our industry.”

2021 honourees

The CFDA has also announced a number of honourees that will be presented alongside the award winners at the event. New York designer Dapper Dan will receive the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award, the Founder’s Award in Honour of Eleanor Lambert will go to Aurora James of 15 Percent Pledge and Nina Garcia will be presented with the Media Award in Honour of Eugenia Sheppard.

Sportswear brand Patagonia was selected for the Environmental Sustainability Award, following the label’s ongoing efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. The brand has regularly donated money to environmental organisations and carried out initiatives focused on sustainability making it a frontrunner in eco-production. Additionally, Malaysian-American designer Yeohlee Teng is set to receive the Board of Directors’ Tribute.

Held digitally through CFDA’s Runway360 platform, the 2020 edition faced a series of pandemic-related delays causing the event to be rescheduled three months late. This year, the Awards are scheduled for November 10, with the ceremony taking place at the organisation’s current go-to venue, The Pool + The Grill at the Seagram Building in New York.

CFDA has stated that the event will go ahead in accordance with CDC and New York State Health Guidelines.

Fashion Awards