Why I Skipped The CFDA Vogue Awards This Year

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You might have noticed that although the notorious CFDA / Vogue Fashion Fund Awards happened this week, I completely skipped the fashion event. Why – one would ask, given that I’m such a fan of the Red Carpet fashion moments?

Well, I had a strange feeling about this entire happening. And – although I know that all fashion things are mostly smoke and mirrors, I voluntarily decided to hold back any CFDA Vogue thingie until I cleared my suspicions. (and to think I only watched a couple of episodes from Elementary! wink). Now that the fashion waters have regained their stillness, I can share my feelings with you: (do hit the jump, it may blow your fashionable mind! Or not… but you won’t know until you read it all – wink)

cfda Vogue Fashion Fund awards 2012

So: who won this year? Greg Chait. You may not have heard of him, but he’s head of the five – year brand The Elder Statesman. To make a very short description of the brand, so you’ll feel their idea: it’s minimalist, posh label where you can buy a cashmere beanie hat for $300. Fancy, huh? Not even get me started about the $2,000 sweaters! But their designs, beyond the astonishing price tags, fit right into the basic courant that’s sweeping the fashion people’s wardrobe right now. At least as far as street fashion people are concerned, basic is the new black.

elder statesman designs

Who else was running for the prestigious Fashion Fund award and financial rewards and mentoring that came with it ($300,000 for the winner and $100,000 each for the second and third place). Tabitha Simmons. I know you’re familiar with her name from glossy fashion magazines because, you see, Tabitha entered the fashion house through the modeling door. Then she turned into a stylist and now a designer. Also, married to Craig McDean. Yes. The famous photographer! I honestly have nothing against her $1,700 sandals or $1,600 booties, I’m just laying out the facts here.

Tabitha Simmons shoes

Second runner up for the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund award is Jennifer Meyer. Jennifer Meyer Maguire, to be more exact (we’ll get to her name in just a second). Jennifer Meyer started designing her own jewelry in 2004 when she wanted a leaf pendant and couldn’t find one. So she made one for herself after taking jewelry classes and so forth. She raised to fame in 2007 when her leaf pendant was worn by Jennifer Aniston in a movie. Oh, and guess what? Her jewelry design style is also very minimalist and comes from the same ‘basic’ family as Elder Statesman designs. Now, I said I will be touching Jennifer Meyer’s name: Maguire. It just so happens that Jennifer is happily married to actor Tobey Maguire. Not that she wasn’t sitting on roses before, given that she’s the daughter of Universal Studios’ president!

Jennifer Meyer star necklace

As I see it, the Vogue CFDA FF awards reward those who have already made it to the top, and not those who are really struggling to hatch… Is that fair, I wonder? The eligibility of an applicant for the prestigious awards, as mentioned on the CFDA website is pretty eloquent: besides the fact that the applicant must be lucrative for at least 2 years, his / her work must have been already picked by magazines for editorials and by retailers for posh store distribution and a team of professionals working alongside the applicant designer.

Let me see if I get this right: if I want to apply for a Fashion Fund award, I would attach a Conde Nast magazine pictorial to my extended resumé, copies of my commercial contracts with – say – Barneys NY and some official accounting papers attesting my ‘business’ curriculum for at least two consecutive years in the fashion field I’m applying for? Why would I even need a CFDA Vogue FF award to begin with, if I’m already featured in magazines and sold through fancy department stores?

To sum it up: I ditched the CFDA Fashion Fund awards this year because I’m oversensitive to fashion hypocrisy. A closed circle or fashion (pretended) connaisseurs is not exactly what I had in mind and what I tickles my inspiration. But, maybe next year I’ll choose to numb my moral senses and get over it all in the name of design… (the images come from the very mentioned websites / designers)

1 comment so far

#1 Riana on 11.16.12 at 8:51 am

Excellent written piece. I couldn’t agree more. Thank you!

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