Nadja Swarovski learned everything she knows about the Council of Fashion Designers of America from the source.
In the early Nineties, Swarovski, a member of the executive board of her family's Swarovski crystal business, left the art world—she had worked for Sotheby's and Gagosian Gallery—for the glitter of fashion, taking a job as a communications coordinator with Eleanor Lambert, then 92 years old.
"The first thing she made me do was go clean her files, and I was absolutely insulted," Swarovski laughs. "But then I started to go through her files and found personal letters to Jackie O, and vice versa, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and all these amazing people. She had an incredible ability to detect talent and connect it to different people to do something. She was such a good catalyst. I learned so much about the CFDA from her point of view directly."
Fast-forward two decades, and Swarovski herself plays a significant role in the organization. For the past decade, the Swarovski company has underwritten the annual CFDA Fashion Awards, and for seven of those, it also sponsored the night's three awards for emerging talent (formerly the Perry Ellis Award, now named the Swarovski Awards). Swarovski supports the awards with $1 million each year.
"We felt that supporting the CFDA was our way of giving back to the American fashion industry as a neutral force," she adds. "We're not a fashion brand, we're only an ingredient within the fashion industry. [This is a way of] supporting the creative community and celebrating the platform that celebrates creativity."
Swarovski is full of praise for American fashion, which, she says, "had always been so commercially orientated compared to Europe, but the creativity we have seen here in the past 10 years has been phenomenal. Suddenly the young ones—like Proenza Schouler and Rodarte—are now winning the senior category awards."
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast