After CEO Steve Kolb encouraged members to include “the full creative spectrum of American fashion”
Via a series of Instagram videos, the Council of Fashion Designers of America has revealed the nominees and honourees for its 2018 awards. Names of those nominated include Raf Simons, who won both menswear and womenswear designer of the year in 2017 for his work with Calvin Klein, Off-White’s Virgil Abloh, Marc Jacobs and Sies Marjan’s Sander Lak.
The CFDAs has previously encountered criticism for featuring the same small pool of names on the ballot year after year. In an attempt to shift the bias, last month the organisation’s CEO Steve Kolb sent out an email urging members – a 500-strong group of industry figures including stylists, journalists and retailers – to prioritise inclusivity when considering their nominees.
“We truly want the event to celebrate the full creative spectrum and richness of American fashion,” he wrote, as reported by WWD. “Just think of how much fashion is changing, and the diversity of our industry. Designers with broad cultural backgrounds and political ideas are expressing their experiences and beliefs in their collections. Their work deserves greater acknowledgment, acceptance and visibility.”
The list of nominees does indicate a conscious effort to represent more women and more designers of colour, with Kirby Jean-Raymond’s openly political label Pyer Moss getting recognised. Maybe that desire to capture the “full creative spectrum” also explains the (pretty weird) inclusion of Supreme, which has been active in New York since 1994. More on that later.
For the first time in the 37-year history of the CFDA Fashion Awards, the event is being held in Brooklyn (trendy!). Insecure creator and actress Issa Rae will take on hosting duties, making her the first African American to do so.
The winners will be announced on 4th June, but in the meantime here’s a list of the nominees:
Womenswear Designer of the Year
Menswear Designer of the Year
Raf Simons for Calvin Klein
Virgil Abloh for Off-White
James Jebbia for Supreme
Accessory Designer of the Year
Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel for Mansur Gavriel
Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row
The Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent
Miki Amiri for Amiri
Laura Vassar Brock and Kristopher Brock for Brock Collection
Aurora James for Brother Vellies
Kirby Jean-Raymond for Pyer Moss
The Swarovski Award for Positive Change
Lifetime Achievement Award
The Founder’s Award
The Media Award in Honor of Eugenia Shepherd
The International Award