On the first Monday in June, Eastern Parkway became a runway. Anna Wintour, the Hadid sisters, and the designer Valentino Garavani emerged from chauffeured cars in black-tie dress onto the busy block. Few passersby recognized the occasion: the Council of Fashion Designers of America Fashion Awards, which is now in its second year at the Brooklyn Museum. But that didn’t stop a loud, curious crowd from gathering outside the event.
Tom Ford played host this time, and guests seemed to sit up straighter in his presence. (Still, someone was spotted carrying a Chipotle bag to one of the long banquet tables as the Champagne flowed.) It was Ford’s first night on the job as chairman of the CFDA, a role previously held by Diane von Furstenberg, who passed him an actual glowing baton onstage. “Dee-ahn, how did you know I always wanted a torch?” Ford said with a smirk.
The first award of the night — Menswear Designer of the Year — went to Rick Owens, who was not there to accept because he’d missed his flight, presumably from Paris. Then Jennifer Lopez got onstage wearing archival Ralph Lauren to accept the Fashion Icon award; Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen took home the prize for Accessory Designer of the Year (concluding their characteristically minimalist acceptance speech with “Um” and “Okay, yeah”); and Brandon Maxwell, best known for dressing Lady Gaga, won Womenswear Designer of the Year, beating out Marc Jacobs. “I really thought this was going to be more of a viewing party for me,” he said, gasping for air, “so I took full advantage of the free bar.”
*A version of this article appears in the June 10, 2019, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!
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