Kanye West presents Pharrell Williams with the Fashion Icon Award at the 2015 CFDA Awards. Photo: Joe Schildhorn/BFAnyc.com
What does CFDA Awards win for The Row mean for fashion? How about the Eugenia Sheppard Media Award being given to Instagram founder Kevin Systrom, or Pharrell’s recognition as a Fashion Icon?
Obviously the world is changing — has changed — and we’re just further witnessing its acceptance. The Row, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s fashion line, initially perceived as a “celebrity” brand, has again received the highest honor in its category, winning Womenswear Designer of the Year (the first time was in 2012). A media award founded in honor of venerated fashion journalist Eugenia Sheppard was given to a photo sharing app we all use, presented by Kim Kardashian, a reality star who has been accepted by Anna Wintour and the fashion industry as a whole. Pharrell accepted his honor stating, “I’m not a style icon, I’m just inspired.” And at a time when transgender people (the incredible Caitlyn Jenner, anyone?) are in the spotlight, Shayne Oliver’s androgynous design for Hood By Air won the Swarovski Award for Menswear — yes, trans issues and androgyny are separate, but Oliver’s win is still a testament to widening acceptance of people, design, and visions that may have previously been deemed too “different.” And fortunately, the embrace of different is what fashion is all about these days.
We’re withholding judgment and evening out the playing field. It may not always feel like it, but as a whole we’re becoming more open to the world around us, to being inspired by people we may not have noticed, admired, or turned to before. And that’s a good thing.
Click here to check out the must-see photos from the CFDA Awards, and everything you might have missed from the after party at the Top of the Standard.