CFDA Awards 2017: Raf Simons Wins Big, Anna Wintour Honors Franca Sozzani

CFDA Awards 2017: Raf Simons Wins Big, Anna Wintour Honors Franca Sozzani

From touching tributes to political statements, this year's CFDA Awards did not disappoint.

From touching tributes to political statements, this year's CFDA Awards did not disappoint.

Text: Jake Viswanath

History was made, jokes were awkwardly applauded, and legends were honored at this year’s Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards, held in New York last night. Raf Simons made fashion history as he picked up the Designer of the Year awards for both womenswear and menswear, his first wins as chief creative officer of Calvin Klein. This makes him the second designer to win both awards in the same year, behind only Calvin Klein himself.

Host Seth Meyers lightened up the mood with jabs at the RompHim phenomenon and Balenciaga’s Ikea-like blue bag. Given that he is Seth Meyers, the emcee was also not afraid to get political, targeting Ivanka Trump’s war with Nordstrom over her fashion line and other members of the family. “First Lady Melania Trump made headlines recently after she decided not to wear a head cover while visiting Saudi Arabia," he said, “which was especially shocking, since her husband wears a head covering literally everywhere.”

The only political statement from a winner came from Janelle Monaé, who was honored alongside Gloria Steinem and Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards by the CFDA Board of Directors for her efforts at January’s Women’s March and gave a powerful speech in defiance of Trump’s policies. “Women's rights are human rights. LGBTQ rights are human rights. Poor folks' rights are human rights. Immigrant rights are human rights. Minority rights are human rights. So as human beings, let's never forget that none of us are free until all of us are free.”

However, the most touching moment of the night came from Anna Wintour as she honored the late Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia and her good friend, who posthumously received the Fashion Icon Award. The editor-in-chief of American Vogue gave a heartfelt speech while fighting back tears, covering everything from Sozzani’s influence in the fashion world to her knack for making things just perfect. “Trust, and be yourself. That was the lesson Franca taught me, and the courage we celebrate today. Those of us who visited her in her final months saw her be herself to the end: clever, stylish, beautiful, never self-pitying, full of irreverence and wit and life.” See all of the winners from the night below.

Womenswear Designer of the Year

Raf Simons, Calvin Klein

Menswear Designer of the Year

Raf Simons

Accessory Designer of the Year

Stuart Vevers, Coach

Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent

Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim, Monse

Swarovski Award for Positive Change

Kenneth Cole

Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award

Rick Owens

Founder’s Award

Pat McGrath

International Award

Demna Gvasalia, Vetements and Balenciaga

Board of Directors’ Tribute

Cecile Richards, Gloria Steinem, and Janelle Monáe

Fashion Icon Award

Franca Sozzani

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