Brandon Maxwell was the winner of the Womenswear Designer of the Year at the CFDA Fashion Awards Monday night at the Brooklyn Museum.
Maxwell, whose four-year-old, luxury ready-to-wear label is known for its sharp tailoring and sculptural details, bested such designers as Marc Jacobs, Kate Mulleavy and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, Rosie Assoulin, and Sander Lak of Sies Marjan.
Maxwell’s profile got a big boost last month when Lady Gaga arrived on the Met Gala’s red carpet, changing her looks four times, each time revealing another Maxwell design. The designer, who started out as Lady Gaga’s stylist, is a “Project Runway” judge and represented by IMG worldwide. He previously picked up the CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear in 2016.
Taking home the Menswear Designer of the Year award was Rick Owens, who launched his fashion line in 1994. Others competing in the men’s wear category were Mike Amiri of Amiri, Virgil Abloh of Off-White, Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss, and Thom Browne of Thom Browne New York.
Owens, a prolific designer and artist whose collections are built around his signature leather jackets, has been honored by the CFDA twice, first with the Perry Ellis Award for Emerging Talent in 2002, and again in 2017 with the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award.
Winning Accessory Designer of the Year again were Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen for The Row. They were up against Jennifer Fisher of Jennifer Fisher Jewelry, Virgil Abloh of Off-White, Tabitha Simmons, and Telfar Clemens of Telfar.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen previously won Accessory Designer of the Year in 2014 and 2018, and have also won Womenswear Designer of the Year in 2012 and 2015 for their work for The Row.
Emily Adams Bode of Bode won the Emerging Designer of Year. Bode, whose presentations have a cinematic quality, has been designing a luxury men’s wear brand since July 2016. The nominees for the emerging designer award included Beth Bugdaycay of Foundrae, Catherine Holstein of Khaite, Heron Preston, and Sarah Staudinger and George Augusto of Staud.
Among the set awards, Jennifer Lopez received the Fashion Icon Award. Past winners of the CFDA Fashion Icon Award include Naomi Campbell, Beyoncé, Pharrell Williams, Johnny Depp and Rihanna, who famously wore a sheer dress covered with Swarovski crystals to that year’s event.
The Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti International Award went to Alexander McQueen’s creative director Sarah Burton. Garavani and Giammetti underwrote the award for the first time through their nonprofit Fondazione Valentino Garavani e Giancarlo Giammetti, of which the CFDA is the first fashion beneficiary.
The Founder’s Award, given out in honor of CFDA founder Eleanor Lambert, went to Carine Roitfeld, founder and editor in chief of CR Fashion Book and former editor in chief of Vogue Paris. The Positive Change Award was awarded to Eileen Fisher and the Media Award went to Vogue contributing editor Lynn Yaeger.
Costume and fashion designer, Bob Mackie received the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award. The designer, who has dressed some of the most glamorous entertainers in the world, including Cher, Liza Minnelli, and Diana Ross, was honored for his contributions to American fashion.
Barbie, who is celebrating her 60th birthday, received the Board of Directors’ Tribute Award. Past honorees for the award include Michelle Obama, Tom Ford, Gloria Steinem and Cecile Richards, among others. Barbie has collaborated with more than 75 designers and influencers. The brand’s first designer partnership was with Oscar de la Renta in 1985. Barbie also collaborated with Bob Mackie on a collector doll series in 1990. In fact, Mackie began the Designer Collector series for Mattel and created more than 45 Barbie Collector Dolls for the brand.
The awards gala also signified the changing of the guard as Diane von Furstenberg was succeeded as chairman of the CFDA by Tom Ford. DVF had served in the position for 13 years. Ford begins his two-year term this month.
This was the first awards gala in 17 years that wasn’t sponsored by Swarovski, which parted ways with the CFDA. The official sponsors included Lifewtr, American Airlines, Ecco Domani, Econyl x ege, Lyft, Maestro Dobel Tequila, Perrier-Jouët and The Standard.