If Donatella Versace, Naomi Campbell and Carolina Herrera, along with most of the biggest names in American fashion and various celebrity dates/presenters weren’t enough, Kim Kardashian West will grace the CFDA Fashion Awards next month as an honoree. Kardashian West is to be the first recipient of the CFDA Influencer Award.
According to CFDA president and chief executive officer Steven Kolb, it was all Tommy Hilfiger’s idea during the board meeting to decide the recipients of this year’s special honors. “Tommy Hilfiger said, ‘If you think about influencers and how they’ve changed our industry, I think we should acknowledge that,’” said Kolb. “[The board] all agreed that Kim was someone who has really impacted the industry and has changed the way brands are presented. She’s a friend of a lot of the designers and has had great influence on fashion globally.” Kolb said that with few exceptions — Rei Kawakubo and Johnny Depp among them — a condition of receiving a special award is mandatory attendance, to which Kardashian West agreed almost immediately.
Kolb couldn’t say whether the Influencer Award would be an ongoing thing after this year, but he did note the benefits that come with honoring a one-woman tentpole like Kardashian. In addition to all the traditional press outlets covering the Awards, and the digital media channels of the attendees, the CFDA live-streams the ceremony and red carpet, which is scheduled for June 4 at the Brooklyn Museum and will be hosted by Issa Rae. Last year, Kolb estimated the production had about 100,000 views, a number he expects to climb under the halo of Kardashian West’s clickability. “By connecting to someone who has that great of influence it also brings more attention to what we’re doing,” he said. “There’s great value in acknowledging her, but also for the event itself and the exposure it brings.”