The CFDA’s Swarovski Nominees on Receiving Tonight’s Honors

By
Monse’s Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia; Gabriela Hearst; Virgil Abloh. Photo: Courtesy of Swarovski

Tonight at the CFDA Awards, five talented labels will duke it out for the Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent. In the past, the award was split between womenswear, menswear, and accessories honorees, but it has been merged into a single honor as of this year.

Past winners (in the womenswear category) include Proenza Schouler, Derek Lam, and Altuzarra, so the honors are a true stamp of approval from the industry. The Cut spoke to some of the nominees about their expectations for the night and whom they plan to thank on the podium if they win — and, yes, Kanye just might get a nod.

Virgil Abloh, Off-White:

If you win the award tonight, who is the first person you’ll thank, and why?

Kanye West. His fearless trailblazing gave myself and a generation an entry point into the fashion industry.

What was the moment you knew you had “made it” as a designer?

Ironically, I don’t feel that as though I have “made it.” That’s my motivation to this day, to chase whatever that label of a designer-designer.

Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, Monse:

If you win the award tonight, who is the first person you will thank and why?

We will thank our small team who have worked tirelessly while we’ve taken on so much in the last two years.

What was the moment you knew you had “made it” as designers?

Kim: Not yet, never will.

Garcia: The random person in the street wearing our clothes feels like the point of this whole thing, something I know will never get tired of.

Gabriela Hearst

If you win the award tonight, who is the first person you will thank and why?

So many people to be grateful for, but I would start with the CFDA and Swarovski for the incredible opportunity.

What was the moment you knew you had “made it” as a designer?

I have not had this moment yet …

Laura Vassar and Kristopher Brock, Brock Collection

If you win the award tonight, who is the first person you’ll thank, and why?

Vassar: My mom. The extraordinary visionary who has always encouraged me to express my creativity - and to be proud of it. To follow my heart. To hear critiques but not always listen. To follow my heart – and never doubt it.

What was the moment you knew you had “made it” as a designer?

Brock: When we wrote our first order in Paris, after midnight, with a Sharpie on an envelope. We realized we had something special to share.

The CFDA’s Swarovski Nominees on Receiving Tonight’s Honors