Last night, fashion elite from across the globe came together for the second Annual WSGN Global Fashion Awards. Honoring everyone from established designers to marketing to teams to design students, the black tie affair was held at breathtaking Gotham Hall in New York City. Sponsored by Swarovski, the Global Fashion Awards have already picked up momentum since their inauguration last year. With over 2,000 submissions from all over the globe, new and established talents alike were reviewed by a panel of 35 influential fashion experts including June Haynes (Senior VP of retail Valentino USA), designer Lisa Ho, Simon Keen (Executive VP of Design, Banana Republic), Dolly Jones (Editor, Vogue.com), and Graeme Fidler & Michael Herz (Creative Directors of Bally).
The night began much like another awards show I attended in April — by interviewing Robert Verdi, who was emceeing this show as well. Robert has been up to a lot since we last spoke. He’s still hosting his radio show, but confessed, “I’m very jealous that I’m not on the Studio 54 Channel.” However, he did get a chance to attend the coveted Studio 54 party this past Wednesday night, and confirmed it was as wild as expected. “It was a fun party. Such a disco. One night only!” Additionally, he’s working on his own accessories and sunglasses line: “I’m launching a jewelry line on November 17th and I’m also launching a sunglasses collection on HSN in February.” We then discussed his amazing spiked Christian Louboutin shoes and how he stalks the hors d’oeuvre trays at parties, of which he said, “I’m a tray chaser. Not a tranny chaser. A tray chaser.” Thanks, Robert, you win the award for Most Outstanding Quote of the Night!
Next I got to chat with Anna Sui, who was presenting an award to Barbara Hulanicki, winner of Outstanding Contribution to Fashion. “I just got back from Toronto from touring for my fragrance and makeup line,” she said. “I just introduced a bedding collection which will launch next year for exclusive accounts and I’m working on my collection for next year.” Where can we find the collection? “I can’t say yet, but it will be for exclusive accounts.” Naturally, Anna travels a lot, so we discussed some of her favorite and most memorable travel experiences: “I work a lot in Asia and Europe, so I travel back and forth a lot to those places, so I like more exotic places [for vacation]. This summer I went to India. I’ve traveled to Egypt and Russia. I just like going to places that are more historic and exotic than just the regular capital cities. At one point I only went to London, Paris and Tokyo and now I like to travel to less expected places.” So what new designers does Anna like? “I’m waiting for the big change. I think [the industry] is changing right now and I think there’s someone who is really going to break through and really knock everyone’s socks off.”
One of the best dressed attendees of the night was Spanish model Eugenia Silva, who graced the room in a muted mint green Gucci dress with asymmetrical sleeves, a Giorgio Armani metal box clutch, and gold Jimmy Choo stilettos. If you thought Eugenia was beautiful externally, she’s also an active philanthropist. “Right now I’m working on the worldwide A.I.D.S fight and a benefit gala on December 1st,” she said. “We are becoming the biggest event in Spain. It’s the third year we’re organizing the event. Last year we got more than 700 thousand dollars. You know, in America, it’s very easy to do, but in Spain it’s very hard, so we’re proud that it’s growing so much. I’m also working to benefit kids in Mexico with Eva Longoria and Antonio Banderas for a gala in Spain. It’s called the Star Light Gala. Last year we got a lot of celebrities to donate money and it all goes to schools for kids in Mexico.” On the modeling end, she works every day and has a blog on Spanish Elle.com. She also dabbles in film: “I have a production company here in New York. My partner is Frida Torresblanco, one of the producers of Pan’s Labyrinth. We’re starting to shoot our first movie in Chile in January. Right now, I’m behind the camera, but you never know.” Given Eugenia is a blogger now, I wanted to know if she was on Twitter: “I don’t want to show too much. I am tweeting. I like it. I think it’s useful but people also get really addicted and also say things they shouldn’t!”
Lastly, I found my way to Whitney Port, who was there to present the Most Influential Designer in Footwear and/or Accessories. Port has launched her own clothing line and is enjoying a successful career in fashion since bursting onto the scene via MTV’s popular reality show The Hills. She wore a stunning floor length cobalt blue Matthew Williamson backless dress paired with Marc Jacobs heels. She accessorized with a crystal encrusted box clutch. In regards to her clothing line, she said, “I just launched my Spring/Summer 2012 line. It’s a lot of florals. Cute, feminine, funky. My favorite piece is an oversized boxy sweater.” And what about having her own accessory line? “Yes, I would love to! That’s definitely something I’d like to do in the future” So how does the jet-setting young designer handle her busy schedule: “I have an amazing support system. I have a big family and great friends who keep in check. I guess I’m a hard worker by nature so I sort of thrive on it and enjoy it.”
With that, we were all ushered into the main ballroom for the awards ceremony, where we were treated to a three course dinner and plenty of wine. Gift bags were stuffed with a We <3 WGSN bag, a Swarovski crystal encrusted flash drive, nail polish by Butter, a giftcard by LDF Floral and Event Design, a Pantone notebook, an Anisa makeup brush, and a copy of Salt Magazine by Swarovski. And like every good award show, charity was present. Trekstock was there to bring awareness to young people with cancer. The charity fundraises through music and fashion to raise awareness and help fund research for youth suffering from cancer. Other sponsors included Lycra, Drapers, TNT, Gerber Technology, Fashion Monitor and World Retail Congress, amongst others.
Net-a-Porter won big, taking home both Best Etailer and the Swarovski Elements Winner of Winners ultimate prize. Breakthrough winners included Michael Cinco and Pretty Green. Favorites like TopShop, H & M,, and Opening Ceremony also won their categories. See the full list of winners and categories here.