Before announcing this year’s CFDA Board of Directors’ Tribute — which, in the past, has been given to fashion-centric figures like David Bowie — Diane von Furstenberg took a deep breath. “Many things are happening in the country right now, and some things we are less proud of than others. The day of the Women’s March, three women came out so strongly, and it was such a wonderful trio, so we would like to honor them,” she said, announcing that the laurels would go to Gloria Steinem, Janelle Monae, and Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards.
The rest of the honors and nominations — which were announced by Von Furstenberg and CFDA president Steven Kolb at a reception tonight — include a Fashion Icon nod for the late Vogue Italia editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani, the Founder’s Award going to Pat McGrath, the International Award to Demna Gvasalia, and the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award to Rick Owens. (You can see the full list of awards and nominations here.) The awards ceremony will take place on June 5.
After she left the podium, Von Furstenberg explained to the Cut more about the rationale behind the award. “First of all, who is cooler, and who looks cooler, than Gloria Steinem?” she asked rhetorically. “She loves fashion. It’s just that they were so strong as a trio, I felt that we should honor them.” Von Furstenberg unfortunately had to support the Women’s March from afar, she said. “I had oral surgery and I was all bruised. So bruised, you have no idea.”