On Monday, the Council of Fashion Designers of America announced the nominees for the 2020 CFDA Fashion Awards, which were originally slated to take place in June, but have since been retooled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of an in-person awards show complete with a red carpet and custom gowns, the winners will now be announced on CFDA’s website and social channels on September 14, kicking off the official New York Fashion Week Schedule.
“In this time of unprecedented challenge and change for our industry, we feel very strongly that it is important to recognize the nominees representing the best of fashion creativity,” CFDA chairman Tom Ford said in a press statement. “We look forward to returning to an in-person celebration honoring the American fashion industry in 2021.”
Many in the industry are looking forward to more diversity among the CFDA nominees. On this year’s roster, Black designers include Kerby Jean-Raymond for Pyer Moss, Telfar Clemens for Telfar, Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton, Kenneth Nicholson, and Christopher John Rogers. Peter Do is the only Asian American nominee. There are no women of color on the list. And fashion historian and former Vogue staffer Shelby Ivey Christie pointed out that in the global fashion CFDA category, there are no designers based in Africa.
Steven Kolb, President and CEO of the CFDA, said that the organization will begin “redirecting efforts towards next generation scholarships and making important changes to bring racial equity to the fashion industry.” He also said that it “will be prioritizing new and existing programming” to support its designer community during the COVID-19 crisis. He cited the CFDA’s annual gala as its largest fundraiser that will ideally help to fund these initiatives in the future.