CFDA 2019 Awards Welcomes Tom Ford As New Chairman

The glitz and glamour of the annual CFDA Awards saw the literal torch passed from legendary chairwoman, Diane von Furstenberg to fashion icon, Tom Ford, who is taking over the seat at the head of the fashion community table. 

Tom Ford and Jennifer Lopez, CFDA Awards 2019

There is no doubt that under Diane von Furstenberg’s leadership, the CFDA has blossomed over the last decade. Since 2006, alongside Chief Executive, Steven Kolb, von Furstenberg’s list of accomplishments includes: doubling the organisation’s membership, acquiring the fashion calendar and starting numerous initiatives to support the next generation of fashion designers. Kolb, who also joined the CFDA in 2006 said before the ceremony began that, “It’s a little bit like graduating college and going into grad school. I’ve learnt so much from her.”

“In fashion, it’s all about making a glamorous entrance, but beautiful exits are very important too,” von Furstenberg said after Michael Kors thanked her for building a strong fashion community through the organisation. I could not have wished for a better exit, a more glamorous upgrade and a better successor than Tom.”

Diane von Furstenberg, CFDA Awards 2019

According to Kolb, Ford’s first priorities will be international expansion as well as the tightening up of fashion week. During the awards, Ford emphasised making the CFDA more internationally minded, stating that the US can feel isolated and inward looking. “I’ve spent most of my career living and working in Europe,” Ford tells the crowd, “but I am an American fashion designer at heart.”

Whilst his board meeting won’t be held until later on this week, the new chairman has already shared his intentions to shorten New York Fashion Week to five days and nights rather than the usual seven days and eight nights. This push for a shorter NYFW is to accommodate the foreign press and buyers, whose attendance has decreased in recent years.

The awards themselves were nothing short of elegant, with a number of big names leaving the Brooklyn Museum with awards in their hand including  the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Rick Owens. Here is the full list of the 2019 CFDA Awards Winners:

Womenswear Designer of the Year: Brandon Maxwell
Menswear Designer of the Year: Rick Owens
Accessories Designer of the Year: Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row
Emerging Designer of the Year: Emily Adams Bode for BODE
Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti International Award: Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen
Positive Change Award: Eileen Fisher
Founder’s Award: Carine Roitfeld
Media Award: Lynn Yaeger
Fashion Icon: Jennifer Lopez
Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award: Bob Mackie
Board of Directors’ Tribute Award: Barbie