Aside from 72 year-old fashion designer Betsey Johnson doing splits on the red carpet and cartwheeling her way to pick up her Lifetime Achievement gong, last night’s CFDA Awards was a pretty tame affair. That is, of course, compared to last year when Rihanna turned up and stole the show in that Adam Selman dress with Swarovski crystals and very little else.
Last night, all eyes were on Pharrell Williams who picked up the Fashion Icon gong, which was awarded to Rihanna last year, but the big winners on the night were former TV stars Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen who walked away with the biggest accolade of the night, the Womenswear Designer of the Year Award.
It’s not the first time the pair have scooped the top prize for their luxury line, The Row – they won the same award in 2012 and also walked away with the prize for best accessory brand last year. But last night’s win was particularly big because they fended off stiff competition from heavyweights like Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs.
Their win doesn’t come as a surprise though. Since setting up shop back in 2004 with a small line of white t-shirts and a few leather leggings, the twins have been able to brush off the connotations that come with being ‘celebrities’ in fashion and grow the brand into one loved by the likes of Lauren Hutton and Julianne Moore to Gwyneth Paltrow and Carey Mulligan. While nobody was watching, the paired back label has elvolved into offering everything from ready-to-wear through to accessories and bags and has become one of the highlights of the New York Fashion Week calendar too!
Other winners from last night include Tom Ford, who picked up the Menswear Designer of the Year award, which he dedicated to his head of menswear, Peter Hawkings and British stylist-turned-designer Tabitha Simmons picked up the prize for Accessory Designer of the Year.
It wasn’t all about the big names though. Young womenswear designer Rosie Assoulin, Shayne Oliver for Hood by Air and Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel, the force behind our favourite new handbag line Mansur Gavriel, were all awarded Swarosvki Awards respectively.
J Crew CEO Millard ‘Micky’ Drexler walked away with the Founder Award and Valentino creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli were presented with the highly coveted International Award.