The fashion world’s version of the Oscars, the CFDA Awards celebrate the best in womenswear, menswear and accessory design.
Since its start in 1981, the CFDA has given top awards to fashion legends, including the likes of Oscar de la Renta, Vera Wang, Donna Karan and Zac Posen. Hosted by John Waters at Alice Tully Hall in New York, this year’s ceremony named a new set of winners that we now have our eyes on.
From a crop of up-and-comers to the fashion veterans, meet the designers behind these need-to-know labels.
WOMENSWEAR DESIGNER OF THE YEAR: Joseph Altuzarra for Altuzarra
If ever there were a designer on the rise, it would be Joseph Altuzarra. Known for his tailored looks inspired by his multicultural background, fashion heavyweights including Angelina Jolie, Emma Watson and Jenna Lyons flock to this label for next level separates. With last year’s investment from Kering (parent company of Gucci and McQueen), a Target collaboration in the works and a couple CFDA victories under his belt, the former art history major has gone from “it”-boy designer to dynamic design legend in the making. How’s that for no formal training?
Joseph Altazurra and Kate Bosworth at the 2012 CFDA Awards.
MENSWEAR DESIGNER OF THE YEAR: Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow for Public School
There’s no stopping the Public School boys. Since beginning as members of the CFDA Incubator’s inaugural class, at last night’s ceremony, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne took home their second CFDA win. Made in New York, the cutting edge label’s DNA is seen in their mix of high and low urban-inspired street wear. More than just masters of menswear, these spotlight kids created a line of tomboy womenswear for Fall 2014. One of the year’s most buzzed about labels, getting schooled has never looked better.
ACCESSORY DESIGNER OF THE YEAR: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen of The Row
The fashionable sister-act may have got their early start starring on the TV hit, Full House, but Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s designs for The Row are all grown-up. Co-founded on the idea of a perfect tee, the line named after London’s garment district, Savile Row, is made up of expertly tailored basics and super-luxe accessories in exotic leathers. This directional brand’s wardrobe classics are favoured by style stars, including Lauren Hutton, Jessica Biel and Miranda Kerr. For those unwilling to pay up the $38,000 for their ostrich backpack, let us suggest investing in a pair of their must-have mules instead!
SWAROVSKI AWARD FOR WOMENSWEAR: Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters of Creatures of the Wind
Third time’s a charm for Windy City natives Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters. After three consecutive nominations for the prestigious awards, the design duo – better known as Creatures of the Wind – have finally won big. Part-romantic and part-subversive, the designer couple has earned street cred for their line, which borders between graphic and practical. Inspired by all things mystical, their mix-and-match approach to fashion has made the label an editor favourite. In the case of Creatures of the Wind, eccentricity reigns supreme.
Tim Coppens, Irene Neuwirth, Christopher Peters and Shane Gabier at the 2014 CFDA fashion awards. Photo: © Getty
SWAROVSKI AWARD FOR MENSWEAR: Tim Coppens
Tim Coppens knows about game-winning fashion. Before founding his namesake label in 2011, the designer worked for athletic wear brands, Adidas and RLX. Defined as luxe athletics, his work focuses on expert craftsmanship and innovation. In it to win it, the Belgian-born artist was honoured with the Ecco Domani Award for Best New Menswear Designer in 2012, and the Fashion Group International Rising Star of the Year in 2013. Masculine and futuristic with a New York attitude, it’s style worthy of the varsity team.
SWAROVSKI AWARD FOR ACCESSORIES: Irene Neuwirth
You may not know her by name, but you’ve seen her one-of-a-kind gemstone baubles on many red carpets. Founded in 2003, Irene Neuwirth’s line of semiprecious statement jewels is all about down-to-earth luxury. Previously nominated for the award in 2012 and 2013, the California free spirit’s brand only continues to grow. With admirers including Amy Adams, Emma Stone and Drew Barrymore, we won’t be the only ones adding our names to her Fall 2014 wait-list.
Irene Newworth Rings. Photo: © IreneNewworth.com