Last night, the fashion elite gathered at The Park Hyatt for The Daily’s fourth annual Fashion Media Awards, hosted by the charming and hilarious Alan Cumming. Joining the winners and presenters were Cindy Crawford, Jourdan Dunn, Nina Agdal, Hilary Rhoda, Lauren Hutton, Natasha Lyonne, Sara Sampaio, Ebonee Davis, Emily DiDonato, Jordan Barrett, Rande Gerber, Presley Gerber, Hari Nef, Nicole Trunfio, and Ally Hilfiger, to name a few. Per usual, the evening was a total love fest, but a word that kept popping up was “fierce,” an apt assessment of the crowd. “Fashion is very dear to me and it’s an incredibly misunderstood industry,” Cumming said. “Wonderful people, some of whom just happen to turn into monsters during a thing called fashion week, or when their coffee is wrong, or when their shoes hurt. Thank you for coming together tonight and not being bitchy.”
To kick off the awards, Marc Jacobs presented Kaia Gerber with Breakout Model of the Year, and the whole fam came out to support her, including mom Cindy Crawford, who got a special shout out. “A lot of people have asked me what my mom has taught me about modeling,” Gerber said. “The truth is, the things she teaches me go deeper than what pose to make or what my good side is. She teaches me to be kind, punctual…to stand up for myself.”
Next up, acclaimed photographer Jack Pierson—or, as Cumming put it, “The guy to talk to if you have to show genitalia in public or have your posterior snapped”—presented Male Model of the Year to Miles McMillan. The model mania continued with Adriana Lima presenting Best September Issue to Katie Grand for LOVE magazine.
Perhaps the presenter highlight of the night was a twosome—Céline Dion awarded Sebastian Faena Photographer of the Year over a pre-recorded video, followed by the real-life Carine Roitfeld. “It’s great to hold an award but it doesn’t compare to the feeling of you as a child holding a brush in front of a mirror rehearsing a fake acceptance speech,” Faena said. “I want to talk to that child right now holding that brush and to all the other children rehearsing an acceptance speech. Don’t follow what anyone thinks is right. Follow your guts. Cool is whatever makes you different from whatever is perceived as cool.”
Editrix Glenda Bailey accepted the Magazine of the Year for Harper’s Bazaar, presented by Emily Ratajkowski. “In 2016, Glenda set Drew Barrymore’s hair on fire, photographed Melania Trump in her living room with an elephant, dressed up Kris Jenner like a circus ring leader, orchestrated a street style shoot with Cindy Sherman, got Misty Copeland to reenact some of Edgar Degas’ most famous paintings and sculptures—and that was just in March.”
Up next, Jefferson Hack awarded Calvin Klein for Campaign of the Year, accepted by CMO Melisa Goldie. “You know, there are a lot of campaigns that come out every season and very few get the whole fashion world talking as much as Calvin Klein,” Hack said. “I mean those images are incredible—Lady Gaga hugging Frank Ocean, the original Obsession Kate Moss, Young Thug in a dress, Grace Coddington…Who would ever think Grace Coddington would be in a Calvin Klein ad?”
Former FMA winner Gigi Hadid presented the award for Fashion Visionary to American fashion icon and her current partner in design, Tommy Hilfiger, who was sitting with wife Dee and daughter Ally. “When I was 18 years old I started my own business with $150 and 20 pairs of jeans,” he said. “It was my dream at that time to build a global lifestyle brand. Now it’s happening and I pinch myself every day because I love life and I feel so grateful and honored to be in this room with all of you.”
Eva Chen picked up the Maybelline Make It Happen Award, presented by Maybelline New York president David Greenberg and ambassador Jourdan Dunn. “The reality is that ‘making it happen’ requires a huge team,” Chen said. “So, some of the people that make it happen for me—the hundreds of millions of community members at Insta that create content who make my job easy…Uber, Fresh Direct, Seamless. The list goes on!” Next, Karlie Kloss, another former FMA winner, handed out the award for TV Personality of the Year to her pal Derek Blasberg for his CNN Style show, who’s mom, dad, and date Orange Is the New Black’s Natasha Lyonne were there to cheer him on. “My family refused to get cable growing up, so there is an irony in being honored,” he joked.
The grand finale: Tom Ford, who had just wrapped up his in-season runway show, made it out to give the award for Men’s Magazine of the Year to GQ’s editor in chief Jim Nelson. “Editor Jim Nelson is, above all, dedicated to improving and enriching readers’ lives, whether that means keeping us up to date on the best clothes or informing us about the most relevant issues of our time,” Ford said. “To execute both missions at the highest possible level, I’d think it was f***ing hard, but to do so with the humor and panache that you do it with is even harder.” And because it was so awesome, Nelson’s speech:
“There is this line from Mark Twain that says, ‘If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything,’ which I love. So I’m just going to tell you the truth: When I started this job I didn’t know what the f**k I was doing. I had admired GQ for years, I had worked there…the first GQ I can remember was Richard Gere smoking a cigarette and then later on Cary Grant, 85, seeing it at a supermarket in my hometown in Maryland and realizing that I was sexually attracted to an octogenarian. But I really didn’t know how to figure it out. I’d been working there and I admired so much of what was going on and I realized fashion was at the heart of it and that I needed to make it work for me. It was almost like this fuzzy, old TV that was getting certain things right but I kind of wanted to bang on the side of it until beautiful pictures came out. In order to figure that out I went to the experts, which was all the people around me, and I realized that you should never be afraid to surround yourself with people who are smarter, more gifted, and more talented than you. So I went around and basically learned how to do it by talking to some of the people that are here, like our design director Fred Woodward, Madeline Weeks, and above all, [creative director] Jim Moore, who taught me so much. We basically became partners in figuring this thing out. Every day I come in to work, I’m inspired by these guys who have true vision and the desire to make something new and bold every day. I accept this, really, in their honor.”
Special thanks to our sponsors Maybelline New York, Brookfield Place, Pommery POP Champagne, Landmark Vineyards, Moroccanoil, CBS Watch!, Lexus, Glenfiddich, Drambuie, Fiji Water, and Hendrick’s Gin.
Photography: Patrick McMullan, Getty Images, and Ryan Liu