While the nominations for the 2020 American Emerging Designer of the Year are certainly worth celebrating, the other five Fashion Awards categories this year exemplify what many believe is fashion’s inability to change and evolve. Tom Ford, who won the ceremony’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 and is currently the Chairman of the CFDA, is up for not one, but two more nominations this year for American Womenswear Designer of the Year and American Menswear Designer of the year. He’s already won six other CFDA awards in the past. Marc Jacobs, Thom Browne, and The Row’s Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen have previously also won numerous CFDA awards. Right now, when the world is looking closely at fashion to see how it will amplify and support BIPOC voices that have historically been overlooked, the CFDA had an opportunity to do something different. Yes, the nominations were submitted prior to the protests following George Floyd’s death in May, as well as the pandemic, but, as the leading figures of influence in fashion, the CFDA has an opportunity to lead the pack in supporting BIPOC and young designers. And yet — aside from the Emerging Designers category and promising to make “changes to bring racial equity to the fashion industry” (see below) — it’s clear that it didn’t take it. 

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