Black Designers Get Major Shine With 2020 CFDA Fashion Awards

Christopher John Rogers - Runway - NYFW - February 2020
Model walking Christopher John Rogers RTW F/W2020-2021 for NYFW show on Feb. 08, 2020. Photo Credit: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty

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.

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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.

Kerby Jean-Raymond
Kerby Jean-Raymond // Photo Credit: Jennifer Johnson

“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. 

Telfar Clemens
Telfar Clemens // Photo courtesy CFDA

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.

Christopher John Rogers
Christopher John Rogers // Photo Credit: Instagram/@ChristopherJohnRogers

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.

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Stephenetta (isis) Harmon

Stephenetta (isis) Harmon is founder/Black beauty directory for Sadiaa Black Beauty guide, the premier directory Black-owned beauty brands, and former digital media director for Hype Hair.