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2020's CFDA Winners Include Telfar Clemens, The Designer Behind Fashion's Current It Bag

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This year, the Council of Fashion Designers of America had to cancel their big celebration. Like New York Fashion Week itself, the organization took its big reveal digital, debuting its 2020 CFDA Award winners in a virtual announcement in lieu of its annual ceremony, which was originally scheduled for early June. But, revelry is still in order, because this year represents the most diverse list of recipients yet, and a nod to the bright future of fashion in the U.S..

While the CFDA Fashion Awards ceremony was postponed and then canceled due to the limited circumstances of Covid-19, the Council has proven that celebrating fashion’s greatest talents requires no pre-determined schedule. Designer and CFDA Chairman Tom Ford announced this year’s winners on Sept. 14. "Not having a gala allows us to focus on supporting designers during the global pandemic and redirecting our efforts towards scholarships and bringing racial equity to fashion," Ford explained in the pre-recorded video. "For this year only, we chose to focus exclusively on our designer nominees," he explained, adding that the nomination process occurs through the submissions of 1500 industry insiders who then vote on those who will earn the prize. This year, the list of winners includes three Black designers — Kerby Jean-Raymond, Telfar Clemens, and Christopher John Rogers — as recipients for some of the organization’s top awards. These three designers, along with Gabriela Hearst, are also first-time CFDA winners.

Scroll down to see the list of the 2020 CFDA Fashion Awards winners below.

Gabriela Hearst, American Womenswear Designer of the Year

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Uruguay native Hearst has become known for her timeless designs, with each collection full of luxe, minimalist silhouettes. However, the designer’s commitment to sustainability puts her squarely in the camp of progressive, forward-thinking designers.

Kerby Jean-Raymond for Pyer Moss, American Menswear Designer of the Year

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Jean-Raymond — who received the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2018 — is a designer known in the industry for his inspired approach to fashion, most notably with his fashion shows that highlight Black heritage and activism.

Telfar Clemens for Telfar, American Accessories Designer of the Year

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More likely than not, you’ve seen the viral Telfar Shopping Bag — or perhaps you’ve even tried to add one to your wardrobe. Clemen's leather bag has become the It bag of the moment, and there's no doubt the trend will continue with his future designs.

Christopher John Rogers, American Emerging Designer of the Year

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Christopher John Rogers — a designer Lady Gaga recently wore to the virtual VMAs — has quickly become one to watch with his rich-hued pieces and polished designs. The Brooklyn-based designer’s fantastical designs have landed him a star-studded list of fans including Gaga, Michelle Obama, Lizzo, and Rihanna.

Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino, International Women’s Designer of the Year

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Picciolo, who also designed one of Lady Gaga’s looks from this year’s VMAs, has been creating dreamlike creations at the helm of Valentino since 2016, showcasing his eye for craftsmanship, shapes, and colors.

Kim Jones for Dior, International Men’s Designer of the Year

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Dior’s menswear designer, best known for incorporating streetwear elements into high-fashion pieces (such as his Louis Vuitton x Supreme collaboration), has brought a modern touch to the luxe fashion world. He was also just named the Artistic Director of Womenswear at Fendi.