CFDA Awards 2012: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Anna Wintour.
Instead, the night belonged to the fashion industry. Billy Reid, who divides his time between New York and Alabama, was honored for best menswear. His clothes are grounded in a kind of Southern Americana. His jackets are roomy; his trousers have texture. He does not traffic in hipster attitude. Reed Krakoff was named best accessory designer for his signature collection—a group of tasteful handbags and shoes that evoke good breeding rather than the sort of in-your-face edginess that turns heads and has historically made editors swoon. The top women’s-wear award went to The Row, created by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. It is a decidedly grown-up brand, one that appeals more to a 30-something woman than a girl fresh from adolescence. (In the CFDA video celebrating the brand, the clothes were modeled by the 70-something writer and artist Beatrix Ost who appears in “Advanced Style”—an homage to older women.) The Row is understated, luxurious, and inattentive to trends.
Those industry veterans receiving special awards included Andrew Rosen—a name the average person probably has never heard—and Tommy Hilfiger, whose clothes are probably in Everyman’s closet. Rosen is a third-generation, garment-industry man, but his name isn’t on any label. In presenting his award, designer Kenneth Cole noted: “So often in fashion we celebrate the frontman. Tonight we honor someone in the shadows.”