Awards held at new venue at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center

Last night, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) paid tribute to the winners and honorees of the 2009 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center. This year’s Awards were hosted by comedian Tracey Ullman. The honors went to Kate & Laura Mulleavy for Rodarte for Womenswear Designer of the Year, presented by Diane Kruger. There was a tie for Menswear Designer of the Year, which was presented by Jimmy Fallon: Scott Sternberg for Band of Outsiders and Italo Zucchelli for Calvin Klein Collection. Jack McCollough & Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler took home the Accessory Designer of the Year Award, presented by Kerry Washington.

First Lady Michelle Obama was honored with the Board of Directors’ Special Tribute Award by CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg for her support and commitment to American designers. “The ingenuity and craftsmanship of American designers contributes so much to our economy and to our culture,” said Mrs. Obama in a taped message sent from the White House. “To both legends and the future legends, I am honored to celebrate your craft with you tonight. And on behalf of men and women everywhere, I want to thank you all for making fashion liberating, inspiring, but of all, fun.”

Blake Lively presented all three Swarovski Awards which were generously underwritten by Swarovski for the eighth year in a row. The Swarovski Award for Womenswear was given to Alexander Wang; The Swarovski Award for Menswear was presented to Tim Hamilton; and The Swarovski Award for Accessory Design went to Justin Giunta for Subversive Jewelry. Recipients in each category will receive generous financial support from the company as well as exposure to the company’s vast and innovative CRYSTALLIZEDtm Swarovski Elements.

The Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Anna Sui by musician Jack White of the White Stripes. Prior to her acceptance, a group of 36 models appeared onstage in front of a dramatic Swarovski beaded curtain constructed 30,000 number of jet crystals custom-designed by Tony Award-winning set designer Scott Pask.

Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton was recognized with this year’s International Award presented by Antoine Arnault and Robert Duffy. The Eleanor Lambert Award was presented to GQ Creative Director Jim Moore by Justin Timberlake. WWD’s Edward Nardoza was honored with the Eugenia Sheppard Award for excellence in journalism, presented by Patrick McCarthy, Editorial Director of W and WWD.

As part of the CFDA’s commitment to design education, the Geoffrey Beene Design Scholar Niloufar Mozafari and the CFDA/Teen Vogue Scholarship (in partnership with Target) recipient Rachel Brown were recognized onstage by CFDA executive director Steven Kolb.

This year also marked the first ever Popular Vote Award sponsored by L’Oréal Paris. Through a website hosted by wwd.com, the public was given the opportunity to vote for its favorite fashion designer. An overwhelming number of votes were cast. The winner of the Popular Vote Award was Ralph Lauren.

In addition to the nominees and honorees, some of the most influential names in American fashion were in attendance including Diane von Furstenberg, Behnaz Sarafpour, Brian Atwood, Cynthia Rowley, David Chu, David Neville, Donna Karan, Doo-Ri Chung, Elie Tahari, Erin Fetherston, Esteban Cortezar, Francisco Costa, Gilles Mendel, Jeff Halmos, John Bartlett, John Fairchild, John Truex, John Whitledge, Kenneth Cole, Marcus Wainwright, Maria Cornejo, Michael Kors, Patrick Robinson, Peter Som, Phillip Lim, Ralph Lauren, Reed Krakoff, Richard Chai, Richard Lambertson, Rogan Gregory, Sam Shipley, Stan Herman, Thom Browne, Tory Burch, Tracy Reese, Vivienne Tam, Yeohlee Teng, and Zac Posen. They joined VIP’s such as Ashley Olsen, Barry Diller, Bernadette Peters, Bradley Cooper, Bruce Weber, Carmen Dell’Orefice, Claire Danes, Daphne Guinness, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Heidi Klum, Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, Joshua Jackson, Kirsten Dunst, Lake Bell, Mamie Gummer, Molly Sims, Nate Berkus, Olivia Palermo, Padma Lakshmi, Rachel Zoe, Simon Doonan, Tallulah Willis, Taylor Lautner, Whitney Port, and Zoe Saldana. Models included Anja Rubik, Coco Rocha, Doutzen Kroes, Dree Hemingway, Hilary Rhoda, Liya Kebede, and Suvi Koponen.

As guests entered Alice Tully Hall, they were greeted by an assemblage of sixty models staged across the grand outdoor staircase in front of the atrium; each model wearing a design by the three nominees for the Womenswear Designer of the Year Award.

Of the ceremony, CFDA Executive Director Steven Kolb said, “All those recognized at the CFDA Fashion Awards push the creative boundaries and again confirm American fashion’s dominance in innovation and talent on the world’s stage.”

“Swarovski is honored to have been a part of such an incredible evening,” said Nadja Swarovski, Vice President of International Communications. “We send our most sincere congratulations to all the honorees and winners. In keeping with Swarovski’s commitment to fostering fashion’s brightest emerging stars, we are especially thrilled to be working with this year’s Swarovski Award winners.”

KCD produced the event, and the journal and graphics were designed by Trey Laird of Laird + Partners. The stage and set design were created by Scott Pask.

Nominees, honorees, and winners were determined by a selection committee comprised of CFDA members, leading fashion journalists, stylists, and top retail executives. Ernst & Young LLP was the official accounting firm of the Awards.

Additionally, the CFDA would like to acknowledge the companies that added to the success of this year’s event:
Official airline: Continental Airlines
Official hotel: The Waldorf-Astoria
Official water: FIJI
Official champagne: Moet & Chandon

The winners and honorees of the 2009 CFDA Fashion Awards:
Womenswear Designer of the Year
Kate & Laura Mulleavy for Rodarte
Menswear Designer of the Year (TIE)
Scott Sternberg for Band of Outsiders and Italo Zucchelli for Calvin Klein Collection
Accessory Designer of the Year
Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler
Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent Womenswear
Alexander Wang
Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent Menswear
Tim Hamilton
Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent Accessory Design
Justin Giunta for Subversive Jewelry
Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award
Anna Sui
Popular Vote Award
Ralph Lauren
International Award
Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton
Eugenia Sheppard Award for Fashion Journalism
Edward Nardoza, Editor-in-Chief, Women’s Wear Daily
Eleanor Lambert Award
Jim Moore, Creative Director, GQ
Board of Directors’ Special Tribute
First Lady Michelle Obama

For high resolution images and all media needs please go to patrickmcmullan.com.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc. (CFDA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose membership consists of more than 340 of America’s foremost fashion and accessory designers. CFDA Foundation, Inc. is a separate not-for-profit organization, which was organized to raise funds for charity and industry activities.

For more information:
Souri Kim, KCD (212) 590-5113 / kim@kcdworldwide.com
Ibby Clifford, KCD (212) 590-5125 / clifford@kcdworldwide.com