Last night, during its invitation-only event at the New Museum in Manhattan, Council of Fashion Designers of America president Diane von Furstenberg announced nominees for the association’s 2016 awards.
Nominees for Accessory Designer of the Year Award were Joseph Altuzarra for Altuzarra (2014 winner for Womenswear Designer of the Year); jewelry designer Irene Neuwirth; Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel for Mansur Gavriel; Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler (winners of five previous CFDA awards), and Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row (2012 and 2015 winner for Womenswear Designer of the Year).
In the Swarovski Awards, a category intended to celebrate less-established brands, Gigi Burris Millinery (shown above with von Furstenberg), Brother Vellies, and Paul Andrew made the three-label short list for Accessory Design.
Gigi Burris Millinery: Designed by a Parsons grad who currently works from a studio in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, this brand was also a CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund Finalist in 2014.
Running the gamut from raffia and veiling to feathered headbands that resemble barbed wire, Burris’s headwear has appeared on fashion-forward celebrities like Rihanna and Taylor Swift and is currently a go-to brand for runway and red carpet stylists.
Brother Vellies: Designed by Aurora James, a Brooklyn-based creative director who also has a treehouse in Kenya, Brother Vellies specializes in sustainable accessories that combine trendy silhouettes (think knee-high gladiators) with offbeat materials (like the fox fur in the Dhara Sandals shown here).
The brand’s name comes from its first offering: a variation on the velskoen—or “vellie”—the popular African footwear best described as the precursor to the desert boot.
Paul Andrew: Launched in 2013 by the British-born veteran of Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, and Alexander McQueen, this footwear and accessories brand is designed in New York and manufactured in Italy.
Currently stocked by the likes of Barneys, Neiman Marcus, and Intermix, Paul Andrew shoes are known for classic silhouettes with not-so-classic materials and embellishments.
The CFDA also announced that Norma Kamali will receive its Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award and the Board of Directors’ Tribute will honor David Bowie.
Nominations for each category are submitted by the CFDA Fashion Awards Guild, a group that includes the entire CFDA membership as well as a by-invitation selection of retail execs, journalists, stylists, and influencers. The nominees, as well as recipients of the honorary awards are ratified by the CFDA Board of Directors.
The awards ceremony is schedule for Monday, June 6, at the Hammerstein Ballroom in midtown Manhattan, a former opera stage that’s become a popular site for runway shows.