CFDA 2018: Recapping The Best of the Night Amidst Loss

Credits: Photo - Anonymous, Styling - Sarah G. Schmidt, Location - 300 Block of 9A Street NW


Each year the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) gathers their best and brightest together to celebrate the year. Cue Naomi Campbell, Kim Kardashian West, and Ralph Lauren. Fashion darlings made their way to Brooklyn Museum, NY for the festivities Monday night.

For a bit more background, the CFDA website notes it’s purpose: “The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc. (CFDA) is a not-for-profit trade association, founded in 1962, whose membership consists of more than 500 of America’s foremost womenswear, menswear, jewelry and accessory designers.”

Their mission is to, “Strengthen the impact of American fashion in the global economy.”

The awards are a culmination of the best of the year. It is a night of celebrating achievement in a variety of categories. Fulsome coverage is found on the CFDA website. My personal – straight from the CFDA website - snapshot highlights of the night include:

 “…Raf Simons won Womenswear Designer of the Year for Calvin Klein, which was presented to him by Cate Blanchett…

…Supreme took home Menswear Designer of the Year, presented by Trevor Noah…

…and Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen took home the Accessory Designer of the Year award for The Row, given to them by Julia Garner…

…Ralph Lauren received A CFDA Members Salute by designers Vera Wang, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Alexander Wang, Thom Browne, Jeffrey Banks, John Varvatos, Donna Karan, Marcus Wainwright, Jason Wu, and Diane von Furstenberg. Tory Burch, Carolina Herrera, Marc Jacobs, Norma Kamali, Calvin Klein, and Reed Krakoff participated in the salute via a soundscape.

…Busy Philipps presented Kim Kardashian West with the CFDA’s first Influencer Award…

…Naomi Campbell was named Fashion Icon, presented by Lee Daniels…”

Out of all of that I was most pumped that Naomi was (finally) being recognized as the powerhouse she is. Sean Combs shared with Vogue her many iconic worthy achievements both on and off the runway:

“… Naomi Campbell is the world’s greatest supermodel. She’s an icon. She’s a role model. As the first black woman to be featured on the cover of French Vogue, [first black model on the cover of] Time, and many of the world’s most well-known magazines, she is a pioneer and a trailblazer in fashion. She is a leader, having fought to ensure more black women walked the runaway, paving the way for others coming behind her. And she’s an extraordinary humanitarian, using her charity, Fashion for Relief, to create opportunities for less fortunate people around the world. But she’s not done. Not even close. She is still pushing fashion and culture forward and always will…”

Yes, queen. And yes for Issa Rae hosting.

Warning, there is a hard turn coming up next.

As I was finalizing my writing yesterday about this year’s CFDA awards I was shook by the terrible news that beloved designer, Kate Spade, had died. Early reports suggest it was death by suicide. Naturally what I was going to focus on was derailed by this tragic news.

I am a firm believer in the messiness of life. Life takes no exception. The night after the CFDA celebrates the year’s brightest, the American Fashion community and abroad must be shocked by the death of one of their own. Mental health is no joke. Left untreated, senseless tragedies, such as this can happen. One can never truly know what is going on with their loved one, friend, or neighbour. No matter how dark, there is help.

Let’s talk, listen, and be honest with one another about what is going on in the inside. Have and share compassion. Please know as far as I am concerned asking for help is sexy, strong, and dope AF.

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, there is help. Please consider reaching out to professionals who are trained to support.

Brush up on the facts. Learn more about how suicide is tragic, frequent, and totally preventable, click here.

If nothing else, please reach out to a loved one and tell them that you care for them, you see them, and that you are here for them no matter what.