GET OUT THE VOTE: The Council of Fashion Designers of America has reminded voters for its Fashion Awards to give some thought to race, gender and inclusivity.
In an e-mail sent out Monday, CFDA president and chief executive officer Steven Kolb advised recipients, “We truly want the event to celebrate the full creative spectrum and richness of American fashion. Just think of how much fashion is changing, and the diversity of our industry. Designers with broad cultural backgrounds and political ideas are expressing their experiences and beliefs in their collections. Their work deserves greater acknowledgment, acceptance and visibility.”
Nearly 1,000 people are invited to participate and roughly 700 to 750 actively participate in the process for the CFDA Fashion Awards, which calls for nominations and then a vote for winners.
“Over the years, a lot of people have always said that they felt like the same people, over and over, are getting the same awards. Awards are really based on talent. Hopefully, people are nominating and voting based on who they think are doing the best things. But the power’s with the people — with the nominating committee, with the awards’ guild. If they feel there are people who are more deserving then now is the time during this process to really deep think and consider who those people are,” Kolb said in a phone interview.
Like any awards program, whether that be the Grammys or the Oscars, the CFDA wants to encourage the nominating guild “to really look at the full spectrum of talent and hopefully express themselves for a nomination that is inclusive and represents the fashion industry’s diversity. It was really to put the powers back to the people and to remind them that if they want to see new names they really have to think deep. But also now to really be thoughtful about inclusiveness and really look at the full spectrum of people working in our industry,” Kolb said.
This year’s nominators are asked to consider a designer or brand’s body of work from the last year instead of the last two collections. That change was made since “brands aren’t necessarily fitting into the conventional show calendar or format — you have brands that are not showing, building on multiple jobs, different delivery schedules, see-now-buy-now and, in some instances, brands are showing in the pre-collection.” Kolb said, adding that the new criteria opens things up to streetwear brands that may or may not participate in fashion week but “have incredible impact on the industry and the creativity in the way the customer shops. “We’re hoping not just that we’re looking at the people, the spectrum of talent working in our industry, but also looking at the brands’ approaches to creativity. That was a big change this year. Hopefully, people will see that and account for that as well.” he said.