Since 2010 Diane von Furstenberg has been cementing her legacy as a champion of women through her namesake awards ceremony. Few other events are as elegant while also being as raw, emotional, and powerful. The 10th annual DVF Awards, which took place last night at the Brooklyn Museum, was no different. Sure, emcee Elaine Welteroth was incredibly charming; yes, the musical performance by Chloe x Halle was absolutely beautiful; and of course, watching presenters Gloria Steinem, Julia Stiles, Allison Williams, and Arianna Huffington mingle with other glittering guests was a sight to behold. But without question the sole focus of the evening was the strength of the women honored.
Nadia Murad, an advocate for survivors of genocide and sexual violence, and Hadeel Mustafa Anabtawi, founder of the Alchemist Lab which offers education to children in cities, remote villages, and refugee camps, were each given International awards. Katy Perry also received an Inspiration award for her many philanthropic causes. Anita F. Hill was given the Lifetime Leadership award. And Susan Burton, founder of A New Way of Life — which provides resources for housing, employment, and more on behalf of and with people struggling to rebuild their lives after incarceration — was given the People’s Voice award.
“It was work, but it was an honor to be selected and to be able to run a campaign for votes,” Burton told The Daily earlier in the evening. “It’s huge for me. From where I come from… and now I’m here.”
In addition to honoring women for their work, and financially supporting their causes honorees each receive $50,000 to further their efforts. The DVF Awards also provides an audience, and with that, awareness of womens’ work that so often goes overlooked. “Honestly, I wasn’t that familiar [with Burton’s work prior to this],” Stiles, who presented the People’s Voice award, confessed in the media room. “But that’s why these awards are so important. I feel really lucky to have met her and know the incredible work she’s doing.”
The night ended with a set by DJ Vashtie. Guests nibbled at dessert while female empowerment songs played like “I’m Every Woman” and Beyoncé’s “Run the World (Girls)”. Never was there a better soundtrack to listen to whilst eating blackberry cheesecake. The Brooklyn Museum kindly invited attendees to view its exhibit, Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving — a quiet way to honor one more inspiring lady.