Lack of diversity! CDFA announces the nominees for 'Oscars of Fashion' and here's why Diet Prada finds it problematic


Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, major award ceremonies have been postponed. The latest to join the bandwagon is the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). CFDA Fashion Awards 2020, known as the annual Oscars of the Fashion World, the glittering ceremony that was scheduled for June 8 at the Brooklyn Museum has fallen prey to the pandemic. The organisers, on Monday, released the list of nominees and informed that the winners will be announced on September 14, which marks the beginning of New York Fashion Week. 

"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," said Tom Ford, chairman of the CFDA, in his statement to media. Soon after the nomination list was out, Instagram’s infamous yet anonymous watchdog Diet Prada called out CFDA for the majority of the nominees being big-name designers with multiple awards on their shelves. 


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Considering the fact that 2020 has brought substantial changes in the fashion industry, people expected the American fashion's governing body to think differently and out-of-the-box. While new categories like Global Women’s Designer of the Year and Global Men’s Designer of the Year were introduced, one can't spot Lifetime Achievement Award and Fashion Icon Award on the list. What makes it uncomfortable is the lack of diversity. Names like CFDA chairman Tom Ford is nominated for both Womenswear and Menswear Designer of the Year. Interestingly, he was already won the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 along with 6 other awards. Marc Jacobs is nominated for the American Womenswear Designer of the Year, as well. The Olsen twins are often nominated.

With an ongoing discussion about racism, nearly 250 Black fashion professionals sent a letter to CFDA last month. In turn, only 15 designers in the womenswear, menswear and accessories designer categories, only Kerby Jean-Raymond and Telfar Clemens, founder of Telfar, are Black. They have been nominated in the same categories in the past and are winners of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. However, it is the Emerging Designer category where diversity can be been but it also includes Christopher John Rogers, CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund 2019 winner and Peter Do.

Here's the complete list of nominees:

American Womenswear Designer of the Year- Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row, Brandon Maxwell, Gabriela Hearst, Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford.

American Menswear Designer of the Year- Emily Adams Bode for Bode, Kerby Jean-Raymond for Pyer Moss, Thom Browne, Todd Snyder and Tom Ford.

American Accessories Designer of the Year- Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row, Gabriela Hearst, Jennifer Fisher for Jennifer Fisher Jewelry, Stuart Vevers for Coach and Telfar Clemens for Telfar.

American Emerging Designer of the Year- Christopher John Rogers, Kenneth Nicholson, Peter Do, Reese Cooper and Sarah Staudinger and George Augusto for Staud.

Global Women’s Designer of the Year- Daniel Lee for Bottega Veneta, Dries Van Noten, Miuccia Prada for Prada, Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino and Rick Owens.

Global Men’s Designer of the Year- Craig Green, Dries Van Noten, Jonathan Anderson for Loewe, Kim Jones for Dior and Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton.