It's safe to say that last night’s CFDA awards were a big deal – a very big deal, and no, not because of Rihanna’s risqué Adam Selman mesh gown. Last night was an historic night in fashion for minority designers and industry darlings, as the big winners included men and women from diverse culturally rich backgrounds, who have shared their extraordinary talents with the world and inspired many just like them along the way.
The Founder’s Award in Honor of Eleanor Lambert – Winner: Bethann Hardison
Menswear Designer of the Year– Winners: Dao-Yi Chow & Maxwell Osborne of Public School
The brilliant duo behind New York City based label Public School, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, were last night’s winners of the Menswear Designer of the Year award beating out Thom Browne and Marcus Wainwright & David Neville of Rag & Bone – yeah, MAJOR. You see it was only last year that the boys won the CFDA’s Emerging Designers in Menswear award, and cut to a year later and they’re taking the whole shebang. Amazing. Many consider the duo to have “fast growing success” seeing as they launched Public School in 2008 and had their first official New York Fashion Week show only a few months ago in February (which by the way was filled to the brim with celebrities and fashion industry heavyweights like Jenna Lyons). Not bad boys, not bad at all. Congratulations!
Womenswear Designer of the Year – Winner: Joseph Altuzarra
Fashion Icon Award - Winner: Rihanna
Whether you hated the gown she wore last night or loved it, it is a beautiful thing in itself that a black woman (only the second to ever do it next to Iman) received the CFDA Fashion Icon award. As we know, Rihanna is definitely not the type to do things simply to appease the masses. From her wild wardrobe choices, her 'eff you' bad gal demeanor, to her very open love affair with marijuana, she really does her own thang, and frankly I admire her for it. However, if you still think it's all hype and you have yet to be impressed by the young superstar, you should consider her story. To go from being a little girl, on an even littler island, to being one of the most influential women in the world who has broken records and racial barriers all along the way is no easy feat, but she did it. Congratulations Bad Gal Riri. Yassssss bitch yasssss.