CFDA Fashion Awards

The CFDA Fashion Awards honours excellence in fashion design


The CFDA Fashion Awards, which acknowledges excellence in fashion design, has been called “the Oscars of fashion”. Nominations are proposed by the Fashion Guild, a group of over 1,500 CFDA members, fashion editors, retailers, and stylists.  Award winners are decided on and declared at an annual black-tie event held at Lincoln Center in New York City. Award winners get a trophy made by the New York firm Society Awards.

In the awards show, exceptional contributions made to American fashion from all areas of the industry and related arts are recognized.

About the CFDA

The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc. (CFDA), established in 1962 by publicist Eleanor Lambert is a not-for-profit trade association of over 450 American fashion and accessory designers. The first president of the Council was Sydney Wragge (until 1965). Tom Ford is the current group’s chairman. Steven Kolb has been the CEO and president since 2006. The organization’s mission is to strengthen the influence and success of American designers in the global economy.

Previous winners (selected years)

Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award

Narciso Rodriguez (2018); Rick Owens (2017); Norma Kamali (2016); Betsey Johnson (2015); Tom Ford (2014); Vera Wang (2013); Tommy Hilfiger (2012); Marc Jacobs (2011); Michael Kors (2010).

Womenswear Award

Raf Simons for Calvin Klein (2018);  Raf Simons for Calvin Klein (2017);  Marc Jacobs (2016); Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row (2015); Joseph Altuzarra (2014); Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler (2013); Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row (2012); Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough for Proenza Schouler (2011); Marc Jacobs (2010).

Menswear Award

Supreme (2018); Raf Simons for Calvin Klein (2017); Thom Browne (2016); Tom Ford (2015); Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne for Public School (2014); Thom Browne (2013); Billy Reid (2012); Michael Bastian (2011); Marcus Wainwright and David Neville for rag & bone (2010).

Emerging Talent Award for Ready-to-Wear

Sander Lak for Sies Marjan (2018); Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia for Monse (2017); Brandon Maxwell (womenswear); Alex Orley, Matthew Orley, and Samantha Orley (menswear); Paul Andrew (accessories) (2016); Rosie Assoulin (womenswear); Shayne Oliver for Hood by Air (menswear); Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel for Mansur Gavriel (accessories) (2015); Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters for Creatures of the Wind (womenswear); Tim Coppens (menswear); Irene Neuwirth (accessories) (2014); Juan Carlos Obando (womenswear); Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne for Public School (menswear); Marc Alary (accessories) (2013); Joseph Altuzarra (womenswear); Phillip Lim(menswear); Tabitha Simmons (accessories) (2012); Prabal Gurung (womenswear); Robert Geller (menswear); Eddie Borgo (accessories) (2011); Jason Wu (womenswear); Richard Chai (menswear); Alexander Wang (accessories) (2010).

International Award

Donatella Versace (2018); Demna Gvasalia (2017); Alessandro Michele (2016); Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli (2015); Raf Simons (2014); Riccardo Tisci (2013); Rei Kawakubo (2012); Phoebe Philo (2011); Christopher Bailey (2010).

The 2019 edition

Social change

Halima Aden, who made history this spring when she became the first model to wear a burkini in Sports Illustrated, arrived wearing a custom Tommy Hilfiger.

“For me, it felt like life was coming full circle,” she told CNN. “What launched my career was wearing the burkini, so then to shoot for (Sports Illustrated) and shatter so many perceptions and to be alongside women, who wear very little or nothing at all, felt just so incredible.”

The process

Comedians Hasan Minhaj and Jessica Williams presented awards in lieu of a single “host,” and the year’s most accomplished American designers were recognized, in addition to previously announced honorees including Jennifer Lopez, Barbie, Carine Roitfeld and Sarah Burton.

List of winners

Womenswear Designer of the Year: Brandon Maxwell

Menswear Designer of the Year: Rick Owens

Accessories Designer of the Year: Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row

Emerging Designer of the Year: Emily Adams Bode for Bode

Previously announced:

Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti International Award: Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen

Positive Change Award: Eileen Fisher

Founder’s Award: Carine Roitfeld

Media Award: Lynn Yaeger

Fashion Icon: Jennifer Lopez

Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award: Bob Mackie

Board of Directors’ Tribute Award: Barbie