How Last Night’s CFDA Award Wins for Pharrell, HBA, and The Row Are Changing Fashion

Kanye West presents Pharrell Williams with the Fashion Icon Award at the 2015 CFDA Awards. Photo: Joe Schildhorn/

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.

Ambisexual Dressing for Anonymous Pimps and Prisoners: Hood By Air Fall/Winter 2015

Photo: Leandro Justen/

As the lights went up in the stripped bare Wall Street setting on a frozen Sunday morning, the loudspeakers blared an audio clip from Empire, “I want to show you a faggot,” remixed over jazz and classical music. The Hood By Air FW15 show had begun, and first up was a semi anonymous model, face blurred and obscured by a stocking that smushed features together in an almost clown-like fashion, the association helped along by hair styling and tonal differences between stocking and skin.

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This was not quite the affair Shayne Oliver showed for his label last season, with appearances by giant dogs and artists like Boychild. The scene was set this time by a custom floral Regimes de Fleurs fragrance wafted through the location, and the clothes spoke all on their own. Oliver’s inspiration stemmed from the pimps of the ’70s, prisoner uniforms (as evidenced by the color orange in the collection,) and as always, ambisexual dress.

Check out 26 photos from backstage at Hood By Air by clicking here.

Whether it was impressed upon the models to walk this way or necessitated by the stage, Hood By Air’s men and women walked with their eyes cast downward, shy, with in the case of one or two looks, with a little bit of difficulty.

The show featured both men and women, but either could have been anyone — most sported grills under lock and key (gimp mask-like,) stockinged faces, and the ambisexual cuts and tailoring for which Hood By Air is known. Slits in dresses shown on male models were taken to new heights. There were also mini skirts and mullet hemlines in the mix, and plenty of deconstructed fur — there was the pimp reference. Reference to bondage was there in details vaguely resembling corsetry, giant logos over layers of fur restricted movement. The knife pleated pants ballooned out nicely.




The New HBA Site Is Raining Men

Image courtesy of Hood By Air

Shayne Oliver didn’t get into fashion to do it like everybody else, and his relaunched site for his cult classic androgy-menswear line Hood By Air is perfectly in tune with that notion. The home page features 360 views of all the looks–men stomping across your screen in  Demeulemeester-esque knee-high combat boots and drape-y leather. Click on store and you can shop raining men–actually not kidding–and shop on the looks that catch your eye. So, if you’re looking to change up your e-tail experience, or add some variety to your add-to-cart addiction, HBA’s new site is worth a click–or more. Click away.