NEW YORK, Jun 16, 2009 / FW/ — At the Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center last night, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) named Kate & Laura Mulleavy for Rodarte as Womenswear Designer of the Year while Italo Zucchelli for Calvin Klein Collection and Scott Sternberg for Band of Outsiders tied for the Menswear Designer of the Year award.
Hosted by comedian Tracey Ullman, fashion’s biggest night also honored First Lady Michelle Obama was honored with the Board of Directors’ Special Tribute Award.
“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,” Mrs. Obama added.
Top 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.
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 CRYSTALLIZED(TM) 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’Oreal 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 Kuvonen.
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.
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
Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent Menswear
Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent Accessory Design
Justin Giunta for Subversive Jewelry
Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement 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
Photos by Patrick McMullan, Getty Images and Jennifer Graylock