After two twisting years of lockdown, reinvention and rebound, fashion will once again gather — virtually this time — to celebrate the industry’s best at the WWD Honors awards.
The event, to be held Oct. 27 during the digital WWD CEO Summit, will shine a spotlight on design luminaries, leadership titans, retail powerhouses and the very best of corporate citizens who are not just surviving the pandemic, but thriving.
Leading the way is Miuccia Prada, co-chief executive officer and co-creative director of the Prada Group, who will be recognized with the John B. Fairchild Honor.
Prada joined her family’s leather goods company in 1978 and launched her first women’s line a decade later, redefining the fashion landscape season after season with her unpredictable, uncompromising and minimalist approach.
In winning the Fairchild Honor, Prada joins a distinguished group that includes past recipients Giorgio Armani, Leonard Lauder, Karl Lagerfeld and Ralph Lauren.
”Miuccia Prada has continually driven fashion forward throughout her career,” said James Fallon, editorial director of WWD and Fairchild Media Group. “We are thrilled she has agreed to be the recipient of this year’s John B. Fairchild Honor.”
Despite the tectonic business and social changes that came to a head during the pandemic and are still causing unprecedented uncertainty, there is much to celebrate.
Rick Owens will receive the WWD Honor for Women’s Wear Designer of the Year after a banner year when he gave “an exaggerated middle finger to doom” and served up spell-binding shows.
Dior Men’s artistic director Kim Jones and rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer Travis Scott will receive the nod for Men’s Wear Designers of the Year. Jones, a master collaborator, teamed up with Scott for spring 2022 for a show that redefined what post-pandemic men’s wear could look like, from fluid tailoring with ’70’s touches to vintage Western Americana.
Steve Rendle, chairman, president and CEO of VF Corp., will receive the Honor for Creative Leadership having navigated the pandemic without resorting to furloughs and opening up a new vector on growth with the forward-leaning acquisition of Supreme.
And Levi Strauss & Co. will receive the Corporate Citizenship Honor for not only having a long history of social engagement, but for actively building on that legacy, from adding secondhand to help lessen its footprint to instituting a family medical leave benefit and beckoning others to follow.
Chip Bergh, Levi’s CEO, will also be among the big names unpacking the changes sweeping through fashion and retail at the CEO Summit. Also peering into the future at the two-day summit will be:
• Ronnie Fieg, founder, Kith
• Rick Owens, creative director, Rick Owens
• Michael Kliger, CEO, Mytheresa
• Geoffroy van Raemdonck, CEO, Neiman Marcus Group
• Marc Metrick, CEO, Saks
• Christina Hennington, chief growth officer, Target Corp.
• Manish Chandra, CEO, Poshmark
• Rebecca Hessel Cohen, creative director and founder, LoveShackFancy
• Natalia Modenova and Daria Shapovalova, cofounders, DressX
• Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO and founder, Klarna, with Gabby Hirata, president, DVF
• AlixPartners’ David Bassuk, global retail practice leader, and Sonia Lapinsky, managing partner
WWD will also recognize top performing companies across fashion, retail and beauty with Honors by category. The winners are:
• Nike Inc., Best-Performing Fashion Company, Large-Cap
• LoveShackFancy, Best-Performing Fashion Company, Small-Cap
• Target Corp., Best-Performing Retailer, Large-Cap
• Kith, Best-Performing Retailer, Small-Cap
• E.l.f. Beauty, Best-Performing Beauty Company, Large-Cap
• Olaplex, Best-Performing Beauty Company, Small-Cap Honor
The Summit and the Honors will be held digitally and the program allow audience members to participate in live Q&A sessions with industry leaders. More details and registration information can be found here.