The Council of Fashion Designers of America just gave three Black fashion designers major shine at its annual 2020 CFDA Fashion Awards. Kerby Jean-Raymond, Christopher John Rogers, and Telfar Clemens each won their first-ever award during a virtual announcement on Monday (Sept. 14) afternoon.
The awards marked the “most diverse” group of winners in its nearly 40-year history. Known as the Oscars of Fashion, the originally scheduled gala was postponed in June due to the pandemic. Instead, winners were announced on the council’s Runway 360 digital platform for New York Fashion Week.
“Not having a gala allows us to focus on supporting designers during the global pandemic and redirecting our efforts towards scholarships and bringing racial equity to fashion,” said CFDA chairman and designer, Tom Ford.
Haitian-American designer Kerby won the coveted American Menswear Designer of the Year award for his Pyer Moss brand. Christopher, who won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund last year, was named American Emerging Designer of the Year. The Louisiana native has dressed the likes of Rihanna, Tracee Ellis Ross, Michelle Obama and Lizzo.
Liberian-American designer Telfar Clemens who has gained renown for his signature “T”-emblazoned bags, was named Accessory Designer of the Year. He also won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2017.
Other winners included Gabriela Hearst, who won American Womenswear Designer of the Year; Pierpaolo Piccioli, International Womenswear Designer of the Year; and Karl Lagerfeld’s successor Kim Jones who was named International Men’s Designer of the Year.