Black Designers Matter: Black Designers Made Big Win As CFDA Fashion Awards’ ‘Most Diverse Group’ Ever

by Duke Magazine

The CFDA Fashion Awards, popularly referred to as the “Oscars of fashion” is one of fashion’s most prestigious award programs, recognizing the best in fashion creativity.

This year, the awards have recognized what CNN describes as the “most diverse group” of winners in the event’s 39-year-old existence. If 2020 has taught us nothing else, it’s that there’s room for cultural diversity in the fashion world, starting with Black designers.

The 2020 CFDA Fashion Awards recognized several prominent Black fashion designing figures as winners in their respective categories during its first-ever virtual ceremony, including Christopher John Rogers, Telfar Clemens, and Pyer Moss’ Kerby Jean-Raymond who won the coveted American Menswear Designer of the Year award.

All winners took to social media to celebrate their big wins, including Rogers, who outpoured his heart as he said he is “incredibly humbled and honored to receive the CFDA Emerging Designer of the Year Award for 2020.” 

According to The Glow Up, this also makes it the first time in six years that Black fashion figures have won a CFDA award. The last designer was Maxwell Osborne, who alongside partner Dao-Yi Chow took home the American Menswear Designer of the Year award in 2014 for their work with Public School NYC.

While Black designers accounted for half of the awards’ winners this year, only six BIPOC figures occupied slots on the “30-strong nominee list,” according to CNN.

Nonetheless, this is a huge accomplishment for Black fashion as each winner has reached unprecedented heights for fashion and Black creatives all over.

It feels fulfilling to be seeing the most anticipated representation with much of support for Black talents. 

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