Do you love to keep your eye on emerging and established talent? Then you should have your focus firmly on the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s National Design Awards program—the so-called ‘Academy Awards for Design!’—which honors the industry’s best and brightest in nine categories such as fashion and climate action. You too can have your say, as nominations are open until February 26.
Once nominations are submitted by the likes of educators, journalists, cultural figures, and other design enthusiasts around the country, eligible nominees are invited to submit materials such as bios and portfolios for the jury’s review. A jury of prominent tastemakers and design expertise will then meet for a two-day period to determine who best embodies the Awards’ mission—which is rooted in the themes of innovation and impact.
Past winners in the Fashion Design category include both up-and-comers like Telfar (a 2020 recipient) and the now-legendary Tom Ford (a 2003 recipient). Other notable recipients over the years include Derek Lam, Opening Ceremony, Ralph Rucci, Maria Cornejo, and many more stalwarts of the industry.
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The National Design Awards, one of the few programs of its kind, is structured to not only foster creativity and recognize talent, but to encourage the notion that design has the power to change the world. Over the last two decades, the White House Millennium Council-backed project seeks to bring era-defining concepts and cultural awareness to the fore. This is executed through a suite of educational programs, like workshops, salons, and panel discussions, that are offered in conjunction with the Awards during National Design Month, which takes place virtually.
Until Friday, you can submit name recommendations in the following categories: Design Visionary, Climate Action, Emerging Designer, Architecture and Interior Design, Communication Design, Digital Design, Fashion Design, Landscape Architecture, Product Design.
Read more about last year’s winners here and nominate your design favorites here.