The 2018 FEMMY Awards, an annual award show sponsored by nonprofit organization The Underfashion Club, honored individuals and companies that significantly contributed to the growth and creativity of the intimate apparel industry. The event was hosted by Dita Von Teese and held on Tuesday at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York.
This year’s honorees included Target, for retailer of the year; Komar Intimates, manufacturer of the year, and Texco Hook & Eye Tape Ltd. as supplier of the year. The Lifetime Achievement award was presented to Donald R. Allen Jr., vice president, design and innovation, the underwear group, PVH Corp., and the Diamond Jubilee Award to Bob Kirkwood, the executive vice president, marketing and technology at Lycra Brand, which also celebrated 60 years of Lycra.
Kirkwood told WWD, “It’s quite a coincidence because this event is also the 60th anniversary of the Underfashion Club, so it’s great synergy between the two of us [and] of how we work with everyone here tonight in the industry and drive change and innovation and newness for 60 years,” he said. Kirkwood said of the FEMMY Awards, “What we like about the Underfashion Club that sponsored this is that [the organization is] all about supporting the intimate apparel industry. One of the big events tonight is the design contest, and that’s really going to be the future designers of our industry so it gives us a glimpse of what the future will be. It’s a great opportunity for the students to show us what they’ve learned in school.”
The event’s annual Fashion Institute of Technology Design Contest awards students with cash prizes for their early achievements in intimate apparel. Six students were selected as participants, and winners this year were chosen by a distinguished panel of industry experts, in lieu of an audience vote that traditionally takes place each year.
The first-place winner, Bianca Jeffs, was awarded $5,000 and an all expenses paid trip to Paris to attend the trade show Mode City. The second runner up, Alicia French, was awarded $4,000, and Norissa White-Isaacs, the third runner up, was awarded $3,000. Finalists Alana Fox, Nicolette Leslie and Eunsaem Nam received a $1,000 cash award.
Debby Gedney, honoree and president of luxury intimate brands at Komar Intimates, told WWD, “I think the market is becoming more responsive to consumer needs and really modernizing.” And regarding young, emerging designers in the lingerie sector, Gedney added that “they want a little bit more of a relaxed design aesthetic and something that is more flexible to their lifestyle.”
Honoree Marybeth Moser, the vice president of merchandising, intimates, performance and swim at Target, told WWD, “I think one of the most inspiring things about this evening was seeing the creativity that these young women brought to intimates and there’s a feeling of not holding back, really being authentic and feminine and real. I think it’s emblematic about what the generations stands for, because there’s a combination of femininity and confidence that I’ve never seen before.”
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