The CFDA Celebrates 2011’s Nominees and Honorees

cfda fashion nominees and honorees

Photo: Patrick McMullan

Designers Alexander Wang and Johan Lindberg

“I am the mama bear!” Diane von Furstenberg told FashionEtc of her new group of 2010 CFDA nominees and honorees Wednesday night, just minutes after the Council of Fashion Designers of America president and CFDA executive director Steven Kolb announced them to a roomful of New York designers.

Only the CFDA can bring out the likes of Vera Wang, Anna Wintour, Alexander Wang, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Carolina Herrera, Jason Wu, Eddie Borgo, Michael Bastian, Richard Chai, Stefano Tonchi, and Yigal Azrouël—to name but a few. But before the celebrating could begin, von Furstenberg had a more somber topic to address.

“What can we do to help Japan?” she asked. “We want to do something to raise a lot of money.” She went on to announce a plan for an online charity auction, with designers and friends of the CFDA putting together “huge packages” to put on the block and benefit the Japan relief effort.

On to the business of the evening, then: The CFDA Awards gala in June will get an extra dose of pop stardom this year, as Lady Gaga was announced as the Fashion Icon honoree. Phoebe Philo will take the International Award, and Marc Jacobs will be honored with the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award—although von Furstenberg relayed that Jacobs told her it’s only a “half-lifetime award.”

“It’s really exciting!” said Alejandro Ingelmo, a contender for the Swarovski Award for Accessories—which, because of a tie, has four nominees this year rather than the requisite three. “I got the phone call this afternoon. We will definitely be celebrating this weekend!”

“I’ve been nominated for other awards, but this is a whole different kettle of fish,” said Simon Spurr, a Menswear Designer of the Year Award nominee. “Steven Kolb called me this afternoon—I had no idea, to be honest with you.”

And while the celebration was over just as quickly as it started (the CFDA is nothing if not efficient; as promised, the announcement was made at 6:30 p.m. on the dot, and the studio was already clearing out right by 7), Spurr did say there would be time for a bit of celebrating.

But first, duty calls.

“I’m going back to the office,” he said. “I have to finish sketching Spring ’12!”

Meanwhile, check out the 2011 CFDA Awards nominees.