by Stephen Garner
(Left to Right) Fernando Garcia, Laura Kim, Gabriela Hearst, Stuart Vevers, Sander Lak, Diane von Furstenberg, Paul Andrew, Steven Kolb, Todd Snyder

The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) announced the nominees and honorees for the 2017 CFDA Fashion Awards at an exclusive event hosted by CFDA Chairwoman Diane von Furstenberg and Swarovski, at Ramscale Studios in Manhattan last night.

The 2017 CFDA Fashion Awards, in partnership with Swarovski for the 16th year, will be held on June 5 at The Manhattan Center’s Hammerstein Ballroom.

CFDA President and CEO Steven Kolb started the proceedings by commending the 2017 Fashion Awards Guild for the record number of nominations this year. Von Furstenberg then thanked Nadja Swarovski and Swarovski for the ongoing partnership in support of American fashion before the 2017 nominees and honorees were unveiled.

This year’s Awards feature a unified Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent that applies to womenswear, menswear and accessory design. Additionally, there is the new Swarovski Award for Positive Change, which honors an individual in the U.S. fashion industry who has made a positive impact on American communities and has improved the welfare of others.

The nominees for the Menswear Designer of the Year Award are Raf Simons for Calvin Klein, Robert Geller, Thom Browne, Tim Coppens, and Todd Snyder.

The Womenswear Designer of the Year Award nominees are Joseph Altuzarra for Altuzarra, Raf Simons for Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler, and Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row.

For the Accessory Designer of the Year Award, the nominees are Stuart Vevers for Coach, Irene Neuwirth, Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel for Mansur Gavriel, Paul Andrew, and Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row.

Laura Vassar Brock and Kristopher Brock for Brock Collection, Gabriela Hearst, Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia for Monse, Virgil Abloh for Off-White, and Sander Lak for Sies Marjan have been nominated for the Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent. The Swarovski Award recipient will receive generous financial support from Swarovski as well as exposure to the company’s vast and innovative Swarovski crystal resources.

Honorary award winners include: Kenneth Cole as the Swarovski Award for Positive Change winner; Rick Owens will receive the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award; legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath will receive the Founder’s Award; Demna Gvasalia of Vetements and Balenciaga will receive the International Award; and former Vogue Italia editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani will be honored posthumously with the Fashion Icon Award.

“This year’s nominees and honorees represent the best of American Fashion,” said Steven Kolb, President and CEO of the CFDA.  “We are also excited to introduce the new Swarovski Award for Positive Change, which aligns with Swarovski and CFDA’s efforts in civic responsibility.”

Nadja Swarovski, Member of the Swarovski Executive Board, commented: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with the CFDA, celebrating the best in American fashion and recognizing the vision of the brilliant talent with the Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent. This year we are proud to launch the Swarovski Award for Positive Change; honoring individuals within the U.S. fashion industry for their efforts in philanthropy.”