The 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards — given by the Council of Fashion Designers of America –will take place on Monday, June 1 at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Art. The annual event “recognizes the outstanding contributions made to American fashion by individuals from all areas of the industry and related arts, with awards being given for design excellence in womenswear, menswear, and accessories as well as extraordinary accomplishments in journalism, creative vision, and lifetime achievement“. Nominations for each award category are submitted by The CFDA Fashion Awards Guild, an invitation only network comprised of top fashion retailers, journalists, stylists, influencers and the 450+ member designers of the CFDA. The nominees, as well as recipients of the honorary awards are ratified by the CFDA Board of Directors. The final votes will be tabulated by Ernst & Young LLP, the official accounting firm of the 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards. This year’s Nominees (and Honorees) are :
- WOMENSWEAR DESIGNER OF THE YEAR – Joseph Altuzarra for Altuzarra, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough for Proenza Schouler, and Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row.
- MENSWEAR DESIGNER OF THE YEAR – Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne for Public School, David Neville and Marcus Wainwright for Rag & Bone, Thom Browne, Tim Coppens, and Tom Ford
- ACCESSORIES DESIGNER OF THE YEAR – Alexander Wang, Irene Neuwirth, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler, Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row, and Tabitha Simmons
- SWAROVSKI AWARD FOR WOMENSWEAR – Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne for Public School, Rosie Assoulin and Ryan Roche
- SWAROVSKI AWARD FOR MENSWEAR – Shayne Oliver for Hood by Air, Alex Orley, Matthew Orley and Samantha Orley for Orley, and Ariel and Shimon Ovadia for Ovadia & Sons
- SWAROVSKI AWARD FOR ACCESSORY DESIGN – Paul Andrew, Eva Zuckerman for Eva Fehren, and Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel for Mansur Gavriel
- GEOFFREY BEENE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD (underwritten by Geoffrey Beene Gives Back®) – Betsey Johnson
- INTERNATIONAL AWARD – Maria Grazia Chiuriand Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino
- THE FOUNDER’S AWARD IN HONOR OF ELEANOR LAMBERT – Millard “Mickey” Drexler, Chairman and CEO of J.Crew Group, Inc.
- THE MEDIA AWARD IN HONOR OF EUGENIA SHEPPARD – will be given to Instagram
- BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ TRIBUTE – to be announced at a later date
- FASHION ICON AWARD – to be announced at at later date
Of course, the list of nominees–as usual– is packed with the names of former winners, even some who has won as recent as last year (Joseph Altazurra for Altuzarra and Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne for Public School to name just a couple). In fact, every nominee in the Womenswear Designer of the Year category has been nominated multiple times and all has been previous winners of the award in the past. This was also the case in the 1980’s and 1990s when the yearly list of nominees were essentially the same people (Calvin, Ralph, Michael (Kors), Carolina, Anne Klein, Donna, Perry, etal) won, with nary a newcomer in sight. Much like the Academy Awards (this and every year), there will be no major surprises in store when the winners are announced on June 1st. And giving an award to Instagram is puzzling on its face, if not downright a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. I smell the handwork of Anna Wintour here, who used the cover of her September 2014 issue to celebrate the “Insta-Girls”, the top 12 models of the moment. The vampire squid of the fashion world has struck again.