CFDA Stresses Racial and Gender Inclusivity for 2018 Fashion Awards

by Taylor Harris

The CFDA issued a memo Monday encouraging its members “to really look at the full spectrum of talent” and prioritize racial and gender equality when making their nominations for this year’s Fashion Awards.

In an email to participating voters, CFDA president and chief executive officer Steven Kolb advised, “As you place your CFDA Fashion Awards votes this year, please consider race, gender and inclusivity in your choices. We truly want the event to celebrate the full creative spectrum and richness of American fashion. Just think of how much fashion is changing, and the diversity of our industry. Designers with broad cultural backgrounds and political ideas are expressing their experiences and beliefs in their collections. Their work deserves greater acknowledgment, acceptance and visibility.”

There are over 700 members in the CFDA Fashion Awards Guild, the active voting body for the awards. They submit initial nominations and vote on the winners. The Fashion Awards, held every June, seek to honor excellence in American fashion with awards in womenswear, menswear, and accessories as well as journalism, creative vision, personal style, and lifetime achievement.

Another change? This year the guild is being asked to consider a designer or brand’s body of work from the last year instead of the last two collections, as has been the previous mandate. “Brands aren’t necessarily fitting into the conventional show calendar or format,” Kolb told WWD on Monday. “You have brands that are not showing, building on multiple jobs, different delivery schedules, see-now-buy-now and, in some instances, brands are showing in the pre-collection.” The CFDA president and ceo added that the change opens things up to streetwear brands that may or may not participate in fashion week but “have incredible impact on the industry.”

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