Since the CFDA’s launch in 2003, the association’s inclusion of diverse brands has been a topic of discussion. In recent years, the winners’ list for its career-making awards has included only four — Aurora James of Brother Vellies, Maxwell Osborne of Public School, Carly Cushnie of Cushnie et Ochs, and Monique Pean — designers of color. But on Monday, the CFDA and Vogue announced this year’s ten finalists, four of which are black designers.
To designers, being part of the CFDA crew means a lot more than Instagram likes — especially for black designers, who often need help with funding, mentorship within the industry, and chances to expose their brand in search of lifelong customers. The winner and two runners-up won’t be announced until November, but the addition of more black designers in any capacity — all nominees become members, regardless of the awards’ outcome — is a positive step. Scroll ahead to get to know the four designers.
Mateo’s minimalist jewelry collection is full of signature pieces that you can wear every day, but each piece has an interesting spin — like the “Not Your Mother’s Pearl Collar” (pictured above) and floating hoop earrings.
Dyne’s sweet spot is producing functional tech clothing, aiming to find a balance between athleisure, fit, and luxurious fabrics.
Knitwear can seem repetitive, but Victor Glemaud’s take on the staple is refreshing, with the cutout sections, slits, and perforations that are becoming his signature. It also doesn’t hurt that a viral photo of Selena Gomez featured the singer wearing one of his sweaters.
Established in 2005, the unisex clothing line Telfar is getting a second wind. The brand’s modern androgynous basics feel elevated, yet still intended for everyone.