By  on September 10, 2012

In the spring of 2002, the Council of Fashion Designers of America decided to honor The New York Times' Cathy Horyn with the prestigious Eugenia Sheppard Award at that year's CFDA Fashion Awards. The vote, however, wasn't embraced by the board. Far from it. By all accounts at the time—on and off the record—it triggered a boisterous meeting that became a major controversy, which many still say was one of the most memorable conflicts for the council. "That was a shocker," then-president of the CFDA Stan Herman recalls.

The incident underscores the CFDA's history of conflicts and quarrels that sometimes flared up throughout its half-century, which is really no surprise, considering the organization is populated—and fueled—by a group of highly creative, ultrapassionate members who tend to do things their own way. Not the shrinking-violet types.

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