It’s that time of year again, when fashion’s most discerning judges get together to whittle down nominations for the best in clothing design, as part of the CFDA Fashion Awards. Each year, designers are nominated for accolades in lifetime achievement, womenswear, menswear, emerging talent, and international design. Once the nominations are in, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), which was founded in 1962, makes the all-important selections.
A quick flick back through the archives is all the proof you need as to the significance of these awards. Beginning in 1981, previous American Menswear Designer of the Year winners include Calvin Klein, Rick Owens, Supreme, Ralph Lauren, and many more. This year sees a typically strong group of nominees, with Kerby Jean-Raymond for Pyer Moss, Emily Adams Bode for BODE, Thom Browne, Tom Ford, and Todd Snyder facing off for what is arguably fashion’s most coveted award.
We’ve put together a who’s who of this year’s American Menswear Designer of the Year nominees, as well as the opportunity to shop some of their highlight pieces from the current season. Think judging is an easy gig? Have a flick through and think again. Winners will be announced in September.
Shop the best of the CFDA American Menswear Designer of the Year nominees.
Emily Bode heads up one of this year’s most exciting labels in BODE. Having won the Emerging Designer of the Year title in 2019, the 31-year-old designer was also the first female designer to show at New York Men’s Week. BODE’s style takes most of its cues from the past, studying narratives and historical techniques to produce a collection of luxury menswear that pays homage to bygone design approaches like quilting and appliqué.
Setting Appliqué Cotton Shirt
Senior Cords Rugby Shorts
Pompom-Embroidered Linen-Blend Canvas Jacket
Bengali Tableau Workwear Jacket
Founder of New York-based Pyer Moss, Kerby Jean-Raymond has made his mark on the international fashion circuit with a string of politically charged, strikingly original shows, beginning in Spring 2016 at New York Fashion Week. Highlighting societal issues like police brutality, and enlisting the help of Erykah Badu as a stylist, Jean-Raymond secured a place on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2015 and won the FGI Rising Star Award in 2014. Described by Jean-Raymond as “a timely social experiment”, Pyer Moss’ bold take on contemporary style can be seen as a zeitgeist of our times.
Starting his life in fashion as a salesman in Armani’s showroom, then moving to Club Monaco where he worked with Ralph Lauren before starting his own brand in 2001, Thom Browne’s collections are informed by some of the best there has been. Browne is no stranger to the CFDA American Menswear Award, having won it three times — in 2006, 2013, and 2016 — for work at his eponymous label. The New York-based designer is known best for sharp ready-to-wear tailoring as well as shows that present a striking blend between tailoring and fantastical, dream-like design.
Another designer flying the flag for New York City, Todd Snyder’s eponymous label was founded in 2011 and has since aimed to redefine the way that American men can present themselves to the world. Using a masterful concoction of collaborations — Champion, New Balance, Timex, Moscot, to name a few — retail-space innovation, and design rooted in classic American tradition, Snyder has proven that fashion needn’t shock to make a meaningful contribution.
Perhaps the most well-known of this year’s nominees, Tom Ford needs no introduction. Tom Ford is so heavily ingrained in the world of men’s fashion that he currently stands as the Chairman of the Board of the CFDA. Having worked as Creative Director at Gucci and Saint Laurent before beginning his own label in 2004, Ford’s long-standing success is testament to the fact that clean tailoring and use of the highest quality materials is a timeless recipe for success.
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