Nadja Swarovski

Swarovski and the CFDA Awards are parting ways after a 17-year run.

The two organizations won’t be partnering on the 2019 CFDA Fashion Awards, that takes place June 3. Swarovski has been the main sponsor of the industry event.

“After an incredible 17-year partnership on the CFDA Fashion Awards, the CFDA and Swarovski have decided to shift the scope of the relationship and work on other programs to support American fashion. We appreciate Swarovski’s tremendous support of American fashion and look forward to our continued work to support the fashion industry,” said Steven Kolb, president and chief executive officer of the CFDA.

Nadja Swarovski, member of the Swarovski executive board, said, “We are proud of our 17-year partnership with the CFDA Fashion Awards, including our support and recognition of 45 designers through the Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent and the Swarovski Award for Positive Change. Swarovski looks forward to continued support of the next generation of American talent through our diverse range of fashion support programs.”

In 2017, CFDA established the Swarovski Award for Positive Change, which honors an American individual in the fashion industry who has made an impact on American communities and improves the welfare of others through civic responsibility, philanthropy and sustainability. That year, it was also decided to change strategy and present a unified Swarovski award for Emerging Talent that applies to women’s wear, men’s wear and accessory design. (Previously there were three winners.) The number of nominees increased from three to five.

Last June, The Swarovski Award for Positive Change was presented to Diane von Furstenberg by Parkland student Delaney Tarr. Karlie Kloss presented the Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent to Sander Lak for Sies Marjan. In 2017, Kenneth Cole won the Swarovski Award for Positive Change, while the Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent went to Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia of Monse.

Over the years, the Swarovski Emerging Designer winners — in women’s, men’s and accessories — have included Brandon Maxwell, Paul Andrew, Rosie Assoulin, Shane Oliver (Hood by Air), Phillip Lim (3.1 Phillip Lim), Tabitha Simmons, Joseph Altuzarra, Brian Atwood, Doo-Ri Chung and Prabal Gurung. With the win, designers receive financial support from Swarovski, as well as exposure to the company’s vast crystal resources to assist with future collections.

For now, Kolb said there wouldn’t be a named sponsor of the emerging talent award. “It is not a named award at this time. Before it was the Swarovski Award, it was the Perry Ellis award. Perry inspired CFDA to support young talent and that is something we will continue to do at the CFDA Awards, through our scholarships, Elaine Gold Launch Pad and the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund,” Kolb said. The Award for Positive Change also won’t have a named sponsor, and the award this year will go to a leader in sustainability, Kolb said.

Kolb said they intend to name new partners and sponsors soon for the industry awards gala. The CFDA Awards had close to four million views on its Facebook live broadcast last year.

Each year, CFDA and Swarovski hosted a cocktail party before the big event to honor the Swarovski nominees for emerging talent. Last May, Swarovski told WWD, “It’s been so great and inspirational — that’s New York. I have to say, the young design community seems so energized and very positive. It seems they’re having fun, and it seems they’re confident and happy. I think the industry has changed so much, at least in the 17 years we’ve been involved with the CFDA. The young designers are getting so much support and encouragement.”

After the CFDA Awards, the presenters and stars pose for photo opportunities, surrounded by Swarovski crystals, creating images of the event.

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