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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Most Inspirational Speeches From the CFDA Awards

The CFDA Awards is known for fashion designers celebrating each other. If you are not in the industry, you stalk the red carpet for the best looks. The 2016 CFDA Awards was one of the most quotable. It was a night of accomplished women inspiring other women to reach for the top.

The recipient of the CFDA Fashion Icon Award was Beyonce Knowles. Bey has been on a roll to make herself a force beyond pop princess, starting with "Formation" then "Lemonade". Her acceptance brought tears to many. She started with her family's history. Her grandmother was a seamstress who used those skills to get her mother an education. Her mother Tina Knowles then went on to help craft Destiny's Child's look with her own fashion skills. Beyonce went on to empower fashion designers with this statement, " Y’all are fairy godmothers, magicians, sculptors, and sometimes even therapists. I encourage you to not forget this power you have or take it lightly. We have an opportunity to contribute to a society where any girl can look at a billboard or magazine cover and see her own reflection. Soul has no color. no shape, no form. Just like all your work it goes so far beyond what the eyes can see. You have the power to change perception, to inspire and empower, to show people how to embrace their complications and flaws and see the true beauty that’s inside all of us."

The CFDA Founders Award was presented to Donna Karan by Calvin Klein. They both spoke of how they climbed the ladder of the fashion industry together. Karan spoke of giving birth to her daughter only to have her employer call to ask when she would finish the collection and finding out her mentor Anne Klein had passed away. She acknowledged "Every single one of us is guided, for an internal strength, creativity of vision and what is needed for the future". "That is what fashion is about". Honoring our heroes and those who support us is something we can all do more of.

"“What really matters is talent. Talent is the solution and talent is what we celebrate tonight" -Diane Von Furstenburg. This fashion icon was voted to lead the Council of Fashion Designers of America over and over again. She was at the front of major initiatives for model health and protecting the rights of designers. 

Menswear Designer of the Year went to Thom Browne. His heartfelt speech thanked his team, partner and the CFDA for their incredible work. Marc Jacobs also thanked his team, citing "My greatest reward is working with them day and night. Creating fashion is what I love to do and the only reason I'm here". 

Norma Kamali was the recipient of the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Michael Kors. He honored her for making sweats fashionable long before "athleisure" was a term and sending sleeping bag coats down the runway for decades. She was humble in stating that she understood being "disruptive" in an ever changing fashion industry was difficult. She is constantly asked for tips to succeed in fashion. Ending on a humorous note, her advice was that "Celebrity might help if you can't do it any other way, but maybe you just have to go for the sex tape!". "Fitness and beauty are very important to me, doing it in style". 

Congratulations to all of the winners of the CFDA Awards 2016!

Beyonce photo: Theo Warger/Getty, Designer photos from the CFDA

Check out The Best Fall 2016 Looks by This Year's CFDA Award Nominees
by Jill Manoff at Mode

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