Inside the 2021 CFDA Awards


Last night in New York City, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) held its annual awards ceremony to celebrate those designers and celebrities who, over the past year, have truly excelled and reached new heights with their innovation and creativity. However, the 2021 ceremony was particularly special, as it marked the event’s momentous return after being cancelled last year as a result of the pandemic. Held in Midtown Manhattan at The Pool Room, the iconic setting of the former Four Seasons Hotel, the awards brought myriad star-power, as they were hosted by beloved actress Emily Blunt and featured red carpet with some of the most jaw-droppingly cool looks of the year thus far.

To no one’s surprise, Zendaya who received The Fashion Icon Award, stunned in a red two-piece Vera Wang skirt set, while The Face of the Year Award recipient Anya Taylor-Joy brought Old Hollywood glamour to the carpet in a bright purple matching blazer and miniskirt with a leopard-print fascinator and gloves.

The designers in-attendance also took the opportunity to show up and show-out in some of the evening’s most chic looks. Christopher John Rogers, who was honored as the Womenswear Designer of the Year, donned a sleek black Thom Browne tuxedo, complete with a pleated skirt, while Menswear Designer of the Year, Emily Bode-Aujla for Bode went in a more colorful direction, sporting a green, yellow, and pink striped suit. Theophilio designer Edvin Thompson, who claimed the award for American Emerging Designer of the Year, looked incredibly cool in a crimson corduroy button-up and matching pants, as did International Womenswear Designer of the Year recipient Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga in a layered black sweatsuit and structured black boots.

Telfar Clemens, who was not in-attendance, took home the award for Accessories Designer of The Year for his eponymous brand Telfar, while the outdoor clothing brand Patagonia claimed The Environmental Sustainability Award.Other recipients honored throughout the evening included The Model Alliance for The Positive Social Influence Award, Aurora James for The Founder’s Award in Honor of Eleanor Lambert, Nina Garcia for The Media Award in Honor of Eugenia Sheppard, Dapper Dan for The Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award, and Yeohlee Teng for The Board of Directors’ Tribute.

Overall, the evening was a brilliant celebration of the ingenuity and forward-thinking artistic sensibilities of some of the brightest stars in the industry today. However, aside from merely honoring the most notable innovators in 2021, the ceremony marked a larger return to normalcy and, further, the beginning of a new era of fashion in the post-pandemic world. Now, as we look forward into the future, we will all no-doubt be waiting in great anticipation to see how this year’s CFDA award winners and nominees raise the bar for next year and continue to push the limits of innovation in fashion.

Click through to see all of the looks from the 2021 CFDA Awards red carpet.


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