Top 2021 CFDA Awards go to Christopher John Rogers and Emily Bode Aujla
The winners of this year’s Council of the Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards were announced at a star-studded event on Wednesday night, with Christopher John Rogers and Emily Bode Aujla taking the evening’s top honors.
Taking over the Pool + the Grill in the Seagram Building, on New York’s Park Avenue, for its return to in-person festivities, the CFDA Awards ceremony was hosted by Emily Blunt this year.
Over the course of the night, Brooklyn-based designer Christopher John Rogers was named American Womenswear Designer of the Year, while Emily Bode Aujla of Bode took the title of American Menswear Designer of the Year.
Known for his bold use of color, Rogers can boast high-profile fans including the likes of Michelle Obama and Rihanna, and was previously named American Emerging Designer of the Year by the CFDA in 2020.
Bode Aujla, who became the first female designer to show at New York Fashion Week: Men’s in 2017, also received the CFDA’s Emerging Designer Award in 2019. Her brand, which she founded in 2016, is known for its use of thrifted materials and its innovative approach to the American fashion vernacular.
This year’s American Accessories Designer of the Year Award went to Telfar Clemans of Telfar, who claims the honor for the second year in a row, having already received it in 2020. Since then, Telfar’s iconic shopping bag, also known as the “Bushwick Birkin”, has cemented itself as a must-have accessory, with even Oprah having mentioned it on her Favorite Things list for 2020.
Rounding out the American design talent was Edvin Thomspon, who was named as this year’s American Emerging Design of the Year. Thompson, who founded his men’s and womenswear brand, Theophilio, in 2016, has made a name for himself with his vibrant designs drawing inspiration from his Jamaican heritage.
Looking beyond the U.S., Balenciaga creative director and Vetements co-founder Demna Gvasalia was announced as the CFDA’s International Women’s Designer of the year, while the UK’s Grace Wales Bonner took the equivalent title for menswear.
As well as these design-focused awards, a number of other prizes were distributed on Wednesday. Having been revealed as the CFDA’s 2021 Fashion Icon in October, Zendaya was in attendance to collect the award, while fellow actress Anya Taylor Joy, became the CFDA’s inaugural Face of the Year.
The Positive Social Influence Award went to The Model Alliance, with the Founder’s Award going to Aurora James for the 15 Percent Pledge, and the Environmental Sustainability Award to outdoor brand Patagonia.
Finally, the CFDA gave the Media Award to Nina Garcia and the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award to Harlem tailoring legend Dapper Dan. Malaysian-American designer Yeohlee Teng received the Board of Directors’ Tribute.
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