University of Fashion Blog

Category "Fashion Events"

What When Fine Artists Turn Into Fashion Designers?

 

 

Artist Nick Cave Chicago-based artist Nick Cave (b.1959) – famous for his elaborately embellished Soundsuits, part sculpture/part costume, uses beadwork, buttons, artificial flowers and found objects as his vehicles of self-expression.  (Images Credit: New York Times 2022)

During a recent trip to the San Diego Art Museum, I had a revelation pertaining to the brouhaha over whether ‘fashion is art’. Karl Lagerfeld once said, “Art is art. Fashion is fashion.” And yet, Madame Grès, a devotee of Greek antiquities, considered herself the sculptress of fashion.

 While some fashion designers see themselves as artists/artisans, others think of fashion as a business, with functionality and commercial purposes at its core.

But isn’t art subjective and isn’t it entirely up to the viewer, same as art forms such as film and literature? One could argue that what one chooses to create, or wear, is considered a form of self-expression. So, whether you believe that fashion is art or not, the truth is, throughout time, artists have used fashion as a means of self-expression in their work.

From Ancient Egypt to the Renaissance, and especially during the 1800s, artists have featured fashion it in their work, some with the precision of a fashion illustrator. By choosing to include fashion in their work, artists have not only immortalized the fashions of that period, but have made their own distinct fashion choices and that of their subjects. Thus, there definitely seems to be a cross over and fashion IS art. Let’s take a look:

Egyptian Dynasty Beaded Dress

Egyptian, Dynasty 4, Reign of Khufu, 2551 – 2528 BCE. Beadnet dress detail. (Image credit: www.worldhistory.org)

Exquisite illustrative textiles & embroidery from Spanish painter Bartolomé de CárdenasExquisite illustrative textiles & embroidery from Spanish painter Bartolomé de Cárdenas (also known as Bartolomé Bermejo) The Arrest of Saint Engracia 1477. (Image Credit: San Diego Museum of Art).

 

Illustrative details of lace, textiles & jewelry by Italian painter Alessandro Allori

Illustrative details of lace, textiles & jewelry by Italian painter Alessandro Allori (1535-1607) Portrait of a Lady 1560. (Image Credit: San Diego Museum of Art)

Belgian artist Alfred Stevens (1823-1906) meticulously paints a paisley and other details like a fashion illustrator in News from Afar 1870. (Image Credit: San Diego Art Museum)

Belgian artist Alfred Stevens (1823-1906) meticulously paints a paisley and other details like a fashion illustrator in News from Afar 1870. (Image Credit: San Diego Museum of Art)

 

The Yellow Robe painted in 1927 by American artist Belle Baranceanu (1902-1988) (Image Credit: San Diego Art Museum)

The Yellow Robe painted in 1927 by American artist Belle Baranceanu (1902-1988) (IImage Credit: San Diego Museum of Art)

American artist Anni Baldaugh (1881-1953) renders a print in her painting Donna 1929 (Image Credit: San Diego Art Museum)

American artist Anni Baldaugh (1881-1953) renders a print in her painting, Donna 1929 (Image Credit: San Diego Museum of Art)

 

American artist Alice Neel (1900-1984) Portrait of Mildred Myers Oldden depicted with broad shoulder pads and a distinctive stiped suit in 1937.

American artist Alice Neel (1900-1984) Portrait of Mildred Myers Oldden depicted with broad shoulder pads and a distinctive striped suit in 1937. (Image Credit: San Diego Museum of Art)

 

Broad shouldered suit by Mexican artist Diego Riviera (1886-1957) in Portrait of Adalgisa Nery 1945 (Image Credit: San Diego Art Museum)

Broad shouldered suit by Mexican artist Diego Riviera (1886-1957) in Portrait of Adalgisa Nery 1945 (Image Credit: San Diego Museum of Art)

 

Japanese artist Tadashi Asoma (1923-2017) depicting a live model fashion illustration Purple Obi 1972 (Image Credit: San Diego Art Museum)

Japanese artist Tadashi Asoma (1923-2017) depicting a live model fashion illustration Purple Obi 1972 (Image Credit: San Diego Museum of Art)

 If artists use fashion in their art, then isn’t fashion art after all? Thoughts?

Catch UoF at the Upcoming American Library Association Annual Conference

university of Fashion's American Library Association Makerspace announcement

If you find yourself in or near San Diego, California, from June 27th thru July 1st, then please stop by booth #2653 at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference & Exhibition, held at the San Diego Convention Center (111 Harbor Drive).

Librarians, teachers and students from high schools, colleges, public libraries and makerspaces from around the world gather annually at the ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition to participate in discussions on timely and enduring issues related to the ever-evolving role of libraries. They get updates on relevant legislation and policies relating to books and libraries, as well as learn the latest trends in book publishing and online technologies. Approximately 25,ooo people attend the ALA conference, which includes in depth information on educational programming, created and curated by library professionals, and their Library Marketplace where exhibitors share the latest in products, services, titles, authors and technology.

Full Registration rates to attend the 5-day show vary, based on whether you are an ALA Member ($520) or Non-Member ($720), an Other-Member (non-salaried, retired, student, support staff or trustee – $320) or an International Member ($360) or Non-Member ($540). You could also choose to attend one day only (ALA Member $295, Other-Member $195 or Non-Member $395).

As part of the Full Registration package, you have access to educational programming; exhibitors and LIVE stages in the Library Marketplace; Opening and Closing sessions; ALA President’s Program; Featured Speakers; the Job Placement Center; and so much more. Full Registration covers Thursday, June 27 thru Tuesday, July 2, and all sessions except for Preconferences and optional Ticketed Events.

 

poster frame of the ALA - Library Marketplace showing exhibits, stages & resources

The Library Marketplace at the American Library Association Annual Conference with over 550 exhibitors, including University of Fashion. (Image Credit: ALAannual.org).

A less expensive option is to attend ALA’s Library Marketplace (Saturday, Sunday and Monday) which is priced at $159 thru June 21st, or $179 onsite. At the Library Marketplace you’ll gain access to more than 550 exhibitors (of which UoF is one) and you will be able to interact with representatives from book publishing houses, book sellers and online services and technologies. You’ll hear from exciting authors and illustrators on eight live, genre-specific stages. You’ll be able to meet various authors and take photos or have your favorite books autographed. Some of the other attractions are ALA’s new STEAM Pavilion! and The Beach @ALA! In addition, you may be able to pick up ARCs (advanced release copies of books), explore donated original artwork and handmade quilts from the ALA Biblio-quilters at the Christopher J. Hoy Scholarship Silent Auction.

 

MEET THE UOF TEAM – LEARN ABOUT OUR NEWEST FASHION VIDEOS

We are so excited to be exhibiting at the ALA conference this year and welcome the opportunity to not only meet our current schools and public librarians, (many who have been subscribers since 2013), but look forward to showing off our University of Fashion online fashion education video library to everyone else! You’ll get a chance to meet our sales team, Myna Dorfman and Margaret Lester and UoF’s co-founders Francesca Sterlacci and Jeffrey Purvin. You’ll get to hear about our newest lessons, our companion books, our certificate program, our makerspace programs, our school, group and library free trials and discounts, as well as what we have in store for UoF going forward. Oh, and be sure to stop by our booth (#2653) to pick up your free gift!

poster frame of University of Fashion list of lesson disciplines and books.

VIEW OUR COMPANION 3-BOOK BEGINNER TECHNIQUES SERIES: DRAPING, PATTERN MAKING & SEWING

 

LEARN ABOUT OUR MAKERSPACE OPPORTUNITIES

University of Fashion is celebrating its 16th year in business. Over the years, our content and our instructors have been involved in a number of arts & craft workshops, makerspaces, career-based lecture events, after school programs and youth summer camps.

Libraries from around the world, having been using UoF to create makerspaces to attract career-minded patrons who don’t have the time or who can’t afford or gain access to traditional career or trade education. They are also a vehicle for community-building.

A fashion-focused makerspace attracts patrons interested in learning how to design and make clothes, how to repair, upcycle or recycle old clothes and how to create new fashion designs, both on paper and on computer. Other goals for creating makerspaces are: personal skill development, career opportunities and potential entrepreneurship.

See ya at the show!eam of UoF

 

poster frame of University of Fashion Makerspaces

University of Fashion – a great content resource for library makerspaces

HONORING EARTH DAY- The Rise of Fast Fashion: How Did We Get Here, and Where Do We Go?

image of planet and with text Planet vs. Fashion

In honor of Earth Day 2024, on April 22, we thought we might take a look at the rise of fast fashion and what we can do about it. As fashion students, designers, educators, retailers and as citizens of the world, we owe it to our planet!

 

The Rise of Fast Fashion

Neutral-colored clothing hangs on a store rack (Photo Credit: Pexels/Rachel Claire)

Neutral-colored clothing hangs on a store rack (Photo Credit: Pexels/Rachel Claire)

Did you know that over 100 billion new garments are manufactured globally each year?

Unsustainable practices, like overproduction and unethical manufacturing, have become commonplace in the world of fast fashion. Today, fast fashion is a prevalent part of our world, but it wasn’t always this way.

The good news is, it doesn’t have to stay this way, either. In this article, we’ll explore how fast fashion rose to prominence, the issues that came with it, and how we can make change to create a more sustainable future for fashion, where ethical and sustinable practices become the new norm.

The Origins and Expansion of Fast Fashion

Fast fashion companies prioritize rapid production methods to make inexpensive, low-quality clothing. They typically copy popular styles of other designers and make them at lower costs through mass production.

Before the Industrial Revolution, new clothing was mostly handmade by skilled workers, accessible primarily to the wealthy classes. With the rise of new technologies in the early 20th century, fashion production began to see big changes. Manufacturers found ways to lower costs through new machinery and outsourcing to low-paid workers.

Men pull racks of clothing through the Garment District, New York City, in 1955 (Photo credit: World Telegram & Sun photo by Al Ravenna)

Men pull racks of clothing through the Garment District, New York City, in 1955 (Photo credit: World Telegram & Sun photo by Al Ravenna)

In the mid-20th century, fashion companies shifted to global manufacturing, leveraging overseas production to pay workers lower wages. This sparked a new wave of clothing production, where clothes were made faster and at a lower cost.

By the 1990s, this trend was accelerating rapidly. One notable player is Spanish fashion brand Zara. Founder Amancio Ortega began his company by making lower-cost versions of already popular designer looks, which were created in small batches to get them into stores as fast as possible.

Rows of jackets hang in a Zara manufacturing facility (Photo credit: Business Insider/Mary Hanbury)Rows of jackets hang in a Zara manufacturing facility (Photo credit: Business Insider/Mary Hanbury)

In 1989, shortly after Zara expanded to New York, the New York Times referred to the company as “fast fashion,” thereby naming the movement.

In the years that followed, fast fashion would come to drastically change the industry: the clothing itself, the societal view of clothing, as well as the impact on the planet as a whole.

Environmental Issues and Social Impacts of Fast Fashion

As clothing prices changed, so did societal attitudes. The view of clothing changed from something to be cared for to something to be disposed of.

This leads to increased consumption and higher waste, which is especially problematic given the high environmental toll that fast fashion practices take: an estimated 2-8% of annual global carbon emissions come from the fashion industry alone.

Fast fashion also prioritizes the use of cheaper fabrics. While both natural and synthetic fabrics can be used sustainably,fast fashion companies opt for cheap and low-quality options. This often means non-organic cotton, which is referred to as the world’s dirtiest crop due to the high amounts of pesticides used, or cheaply made synthetics like polyester, which rely on high amounts of virgin fossil fuels and cause microplastic pollution.

Fast fashion is also harmful to garment workers. It’s estimated that only 2% of fashion workers worldwide are paid a livable salary, and many work in unsafe or unhealthy environments.

Transitioning Towards a More Sustainable Future

Though the current state of fast fashion may seem grim, as awareness begins to grow around these issues, times begin to change.

Advocacy groups like Fashion Revolution and Good On You bring light to these issues and highlight brands that produce clothing more ethically.

Woman holds a bag made from Econyl, a recycled textile (Photo credit: econyl.com)

Woman holds a bag made from Econyl, a recycled textile (Photo credit: econyl.com)

 

Innovative materials are having an impact as well. For example, Econyl and rPET (recycled polyester) are creating new fabrics from post-consumer waste, like recycled fish nets and water bottles.

Yellow jacket by Danish brand Ganni made in collaboration with Polybion from their bio-based textile, Celium. (Photo credit: Ganni/Polybion)

Yellow jacket by Danish brand Ganni made in collaboration with Polybion from their bio-based textile, Celium. (Photo credit: Ganni/Polybion)

Sustainable alternatives to leather and pleather are also on the rise. One example is Polybion, which is growing a plant-based leather alternative from fermented fruit waste.

As consumers, there are steps we can take to avoid fast fashion as well. From learning how to identify ethical companies to supporting small-scale designers, even a small step is a step in the direction of a more sustainable and ethical fashion future.

So, tell us, how will you choose to embrace sustainable fashion?

 

 

 

OUR ONCE YEARLY HOLIDAY SPECIAL IS HERE!

 

At last! Our Once Yearly Holiday Special is Here

From now until December 31, 2023, you will be able to get $40 off a yearly subscription to University of Fashion’s 500+ fashion education video lessons

What was $189 for a yearly, is now $149.                        At checkout use promo code: BEST

We’re also offering $10 off a monthly subscription (1st month only).

What was $19.95 for a monthly (recurring billing) is now $9.95 for the first month.                At checkout use promo code: BETTER

UoF promo codes for yearly at $149 was $189 and monthly was $9.95 monthly (recurring billing) was $19.95

 

Give the Gift of Fashion Education

 Do you have a special someone in your life who is:

an aspiring designer

interested in a career in retail fashion

unable to afford fashion college

currently attending fashion school but needs help

a high schooler looking for fashion college admissions advice

a high school teacher looking for teaching inspiration

a college instructor in need of instructional content

a teacher or working professional looking to upskill

a designer who needs portfolio help

a designer hoping to launch their own brand

a current designer looking to upskill

interested in becoming a sustainable designer

looking to become a menswear, womenswear, childrenswear or accessories designer

among the fashion curious – interested in all things fashion

With 13 different disciplines, you will learn, online, 24/7, at your convenience, in the privacy of your own home or office. Choose from lessons in:
list of subjects taught at UoF

We also offer a certificate of completion for every lesson that you complete:

Sample of University of Fashion Certificate of Completion

Get a UoF gift for that special fashionista in your life…maybe even one for yourself!

JUNETEENTH: Celebrating African American Quilters & Creatives

 

(Image Credit: Louisville Black Creatives – Facebook.com)

Juneteenth marks the day when General Gordon Granger of the Union Army strolled into Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, to announce that the last of the 250,000 remaining enslaved people in the Confederacy were freed from the shackles of slavery, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

To celebrate Juneteenth, this week’s blogpost is dedicated to African Americans artisans, both past and present, who use their creativity to tell stories through the art of quilting. We will also highlight African American quilters and artisans who, through textiles and handcraftsmanship, are modern-day griots, these creatives are continuing the tradition of African tribal storytelling to preserve the genealogies and oral traditions of their culture.

Fashion has always held an important role in the evolution of mankind, whether to express status or as a vehicle for social change. But the art and craft of fashion, specifically quilting, has held an even deeper meaning for the African American community and is as almost as old as the history of America.

One of the first enslaved African women to be officially recorded in the colony of Virginia in 1619 was Angela (likely born in present-day Angola). Angela is considered one the ‘First Africans” and like many Black women to follow, were charged with spinning, weaving, sewing, and quilting on plantations for their enslavers, while often weaving their own family’s clothing to keep warm and survive.

Over time, some African American household slaves became highly skilled in creating quilts and while very few examples of these early quilts survived due to the heavy wear they received, what was initially a tool of oppression became an expression of liberation.

Hidden in Plain View by Jacqueline L. Tobin and Raymond G. Dobard

UNDERGROUND RAILROAD QUILT CODES

The Underground Railroad (UCRR) was a network of people and places that assisted southern slaves escape to free states in the North and Canada prior to the start of the Civil War in 1861. According to legend, a safe house along the UCRR was often indicated by a quilt hanging from a clothesline or windowsill. These quilts were embedded with a kind of code, so that by reading the shapes and motifs sewn into the design, an enslaved person on the run could know the area’s immediate dangers or even where to head next.

In the book entitled, Hidden in Plain View: A Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad, the authors reveal how enslaved men and women made encoded quilts and then used them to navigate their escape on the Underground Railroad. Quilts with patterns named “the Charleston Code,” “wagon wheel,” “tumbling blocks,” and “bear’s paw”, contained secret messages that helped direct slaves to freedom.

Example of a Charleston Code Quilt – helped navigate slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad

When slaves made their escape, they used their memory of the quilts as a mnemonic device to guide them safely along their journey. For example: a bow tie meant “dress in disguise to appear of a higher status; a bear paw was an instruction to “follow an animal trail through the mountains to find water and food; and a log cabin warned “seek shelter now, the people here are safe to speak with”.

Example of a Log Cabin quilt with an embedded code to help slaves to freedom.

At the end of the Civil War, African American women continued telling their stories through quilting, maintaining the long-standing cultural significance and its profound roots of ‘woven’ resistance. For more on the history of African American quilting as folk-art visit: http://www.womenfolk.com/quilting_history/afam.html

HARRIET POWERS

Quilter Harriet Powers

Harriet Powers 1837-1910 (Image credit: Museum of Fine Arts Boston)

Born into slavery in Athens, Georgia in 1837, Harriet Powers created quilts once she was emancipated. She used quilting as a catalyst for change and to inspire conversations about race. Her storytelling quilts made use of appliqué techniques and the textiles of Western Africa and are notable for her ability to transmit, through the fabric, her religious faith depicting biblical stories, local events, and celestial occurrences. Powers debuted her first exhibit in 1886 at the Cotton States and International Expo.

For much of the 20th century Powers was erased from the art historical canon, but today she is deservedly considered one of the most accomplished quilt makers of the 19th century.

Only two of Powers’ story quilts have survived: the Bible Quilt which hangs in the Smithsonian Institution and her Pictorial Quilt which is on display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Harriet Powers – Bible Quilt circa 1886 (Image credit: Smithsonian Institution)

Weaving scraps together became a metaphor for threads of resilience stitched together to preserve remnants of culture, faith, and hope in the African American community. Though often not attributed with bringing the tradition of quilting to the U.S., Black women are among the originators of today’s needle and thread technique.

From navigating the Underground Railroad to telling a family’s story, quilts are more than an heirloom to African American families—they are an act of woven resistance.

Close-up of African American ‘Pine Burr’ quilt circa 1920 found in Selma, Alabama. For sale on 1st Dibs $7,500

One of the most beautiful quilt patterns is the Pine Cone or Pine Burr, which is a three dimensional quilt made of overlapping triangles. These triangles are put in a circular pattern starting at the center, giving the look of a pinecone. The quilt pictured above was made by an African American of unknown provenance. It took weeks to make and was found in Selma, Alabama circa 1920. It is for sale on 1st Dibs for $7,500.

QUILTERS OF GEE’S BEND

Gee’s Bend Quilters Jennie Pettway and Jorena Pettway, 1937 (Photo credit: Arthur Rothstein).

Among the most important quilt contributions to the history of art were made by quilters in the isolated African American hamlet of Gee’s Bend, Alabama in the 1930s. Gee’s Bend quilters developed a distinctive style and are known for their lively improvisations and geometric simplicity.

In 2003, 50 quilt makers founded the Gee’s Bend Collective, which is owned and operated by the women of Gee’s Bend and their work has been exhibited in museums across the country, the most notable in 2004 at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Gee’s Bend quilters working a quilt 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia.com)

In 2015, Gee’s Bend quilters Mary Lee Bendolph, Lucy Mingo, and Loretta Pettway were joint recipients of a National Heritage Fellowship awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts, which is the United States government’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts.

And in 2023, the Gee’s Bend quilters collaborated with generative artist Anna Lucia to create digital works of art on the blockchain in a project called Generations.

Quilt by Anna Lucia of Gees Bend Quilted physical NFT on a clothesline in Alabama 2023 (Image credit: rightclicksave.com)

 

FAITH RINGGOLD

Faith Ringgold in front of her quilt Tar Beach 1993

Faith Ringgold in front of her quilt Tar Beach 1993 (Image credit: Wikipedia.com)

Faith Ringgold is an artist, activist, quilter, educator and author of numerous award-winning children’s books. Tar Beach, her first children’s book, based on a quilt of the same title, has won over twenty awards including the Caldecott Honor and the Coretta Scott King award for the best-illustrated children’s book of 1991. Ringgold has made a career-spanning commitment to social justice and equity through a variety of media including oil paintings, tankas, soft sculptures, story quilts and prints. If you are in LA, be sure to catch her show at the Jeffrey Deitch Gallery from May 20-August 12.

 

BISA BUTLER

Artist/quilter Bisa Butler – Quilting for the Culture (Image credit & video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_P3_61nh3xo)

Bisa Butler has been called a modern-day Griot, but instead of using words to tell stories, she uses stitches and cloth. Her quilts have graced the covers of magazines, have been the subject of numerous exhibitions and she created the striking illustration for the book “Unbound,” the memoir of activist and Me Too movement founder Tarana Burke. Her show entitled “Bisa Butler: The World is Yours“, is currently showing in NYC from May 6 to June 30, 2023 at 18 Wooster Street. You will be dazzled! Here’s a link to the show info: https://deitch.com/new-york/exhibitions/bisa-butler-the-world-is-yours

 

Artist/Quilter Bisa Butler (Image credit: YouTube)

In my work, I am telling the story— this African American side— of the American life. History is the story of men and women, but the narrative is controlled by those who hold the pen. My community has been marginalized for hundreds of years. While we have been right beside our white counterparts experiencing and creating history, our contributions and perspectives have been ignored, unrecorded, and lost. It is only a few years ago that it was acknowledged that the White House was built by slaves. Right there in the seat of power of our country African Americans were creating and contributing while their names were lost to history. My subjects are African Americans from ordinary walks of life who may have sat for a formal family portrait or may have been documented by a passing photographer. Like the builders of the White House, they have no names or captions to tell us who they were.” ~ Bisa Butler

AFRICAN AMERICAN CRAFT INITIATIVE

The African American Craft Initiative – a division of the Smithsonian Artisan Initiative (Photo credit folklife.si.edu)

The African American Craft (AACI) Initiative works to expand the visibility of African American artisans and ensure equitable access to resources. Established through a consultative dialogue process with African American makers and organizations, and the mainstream craft sector in the United States, AACI outlines concrete actions for sustainable change.

Through collaborative research, documentation, and public programming, the initiative builds upon the relationship between craft and community by amplifying and supporting the efforts of African American makers to sustain their craft practice.

QUILTING & THE FASHION INDUSTRY

A$AP Rocky and Rihanna 2021 Met Gala

A$AP Rocky and Rihanna at the Met Gala 2021 (Image credit: GraziaMagazine.com)

Quilting continues to provoke conversations and contemplations around identity, heritage, and healing within the African American Community. African textiles are often central to quilters and fashion designers at large.

 

To learn more about African textiles check out these UoF lessons:

 

To learn more about quilting and various quilt patterns visit Quilt Index https://quiltindex.org

To find out where to purchase African fabrics visit: https://www.quiltafricafabrics.com/collections

Have you viewed our West African textiles lessons yet?

 

HOW INDIA IS BECOMING THE NEXT BIG LUXURY MARKET

Looks from Dior’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection in Mumbai. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

By now, every dedicated follower-of-fashion has seen the extraordinary Dior Pre-Fall show images from Mumbai that flooded social media with the iconic Gateway of India as backdrop. Having spent seven years working/designing in India, the Dior show was of particular interest to our founder Francesca Sterlacci (FYI-the Taj Mahal hotel is across the street from the Gateway). Francesca’s love of Indian handicrafts, the preservation of those crafts, and female empowerment within the fashion industry are all missions she shares with Dior’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri.

The March 23rd Dior show was not only a celebration of Indian culture and craft, but of its women and its commitment to diversity and inclusivity. Created by women for women, the show reinforced India’s long-standing role in manufacturing European high fashion and the growing power of its luxury consumers. The Dior/India collaboration was a showcase for all the ways the French Maison is interlinked with the artisanship of Mumbai, specifically the Chanakya School of Craft.

Behind the scenes of the Dior and Chanakya School of Craft collaboration. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Originally founded in 1986 by their father Vinod Shah, daughters Karishma Swali and Monica Shah established the Chanakya School of Craft (CSC) in 2016; a foundation and non-profit school dedicated to craft, culture and women’s empowerment and whose mission is to preserve and promote the age-old heritage of hand embroidery.

Today, the school has educated over 700 women providing them with employable skills and autonomy over their lives and their future, making embroideries for international labels such as Dior, Fendi, Gucci, Valentino, Lanvin and Prada. An immersive one-year program on master crafts covering over 300 techniques is taught, while also covering modules on business acumen, basic finance and starting new ventures. The benefit is twofold: ancient techniques and skills are revived while also being rejuvenated by the joy and ambition of those who have finally been empowered. Women of all communities in India can now create their art safely, transforming not just their own lives but the lives of those around them.

The highest education is that which does not merely give us information, but makes our life in harmony with all existence.” ~Rabindranath Tagore

Chanakya School of Craft- Mumbai India (Image credit: Chanakya.school)

The show was a testament to Chanakya and Dior’s shared commitment of promoting female empowerment, diversity and inclusivity. In addition to the beautiful embroideries made by women, Dior’s casting of models for the show were a mix of Indian and Western models in a diverse range of body types and skin tones.

Dior’s landmark Pre-Fall 2023 collection was also a celebration of the luxury house’s commitment to sustainability. The brand has been making a concerted effort to reduce its carbon footprint and promote sustainable fashion and the show featured pieces made from sustainable materials such as organic cotton. Dior announced its commitment to using only sustainable cotton by 2025.

 

A look from from Dior’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection in Mumbai. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

The Dior collection was a beautiful tribute to India’s vibrant and colorful culture and its women. It was also a perfect example of how fashion can be a powerful tool for cultural exchange. Models walked down the historic square dressed in sari-inspired drapes, kurta shirts, Nehru jackets, sherwanis and lungi skirts in a color palette of rich reds, blues, greens, and golds, featuring intricate embroidery work created by hand, by female artisans from Mumbai.

Looks from Dior’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection in Mumbai. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Maria Grazia Chiuri took the final bow in the presence of a bevy of movie stars, influencers, royalty and, of course, the Ambanis (children of Mukesh Ambani, the richest person in India and Asia and the world’s ninth richest person). India has officially secured its place on the luxury fashion map!

 

OTHER LUXURY BRANDS THAT HAVE SHOWN IN INDIA

YSL 1989 show in India. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

While in the past other luxury brands have held shows in India (Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Pierre Cardin, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino and Prada), Dior was the first European luxury brand that held an official calendar show in India with their Pre-Fall 2023 collection.

WHAT DOES THE DIOR SHOW MEAN FOR INDIA’S LUXURY MARKET?

Looks from Dior’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection in Mumbai. (Photo Credit: The New York Times)

Dior’s Pre-Fall 2023 show in Mumbai was quite a success. The turnout of boldface names across industries was high, including India’s leading celebrity Virat Kohli and Bollywood stars such as Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra Jonas.  The event was significant as it signaled India’s growing luxury status.

The Gateway to Mumbai. (Photo Credit: The National)

As luxury brands tap new markets in a hunt for their next billions, Dior became the first fashion house to unveil their latest collection in India.  The strategic and symbolic value of Dior’s staging their show at Mumbai’s Gateway of India monument is akin to when Fendi staged a fashion show on the Great Wall of China in 2007, a move that foreshadowed the importance of Chinese consumers to the luxury industry over the next decade.

The event was significant as it marked Dior’s entry into India’s luxury market which has been growing rapidly over the past few years. According to a report by Deloitte, India’s luxury market is expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 10 – 15% over the next five years. This growth is being driven by an increase in disposable income among India’s middle class and a growing appetite for luxury goods among younger consumers.

To learn more about the types of handicrafts used in the Dior collection, view our Tambour beading and hand embroidery lessons taught by Hand & Lock Award winner Silvia Perramon:

DO YOU BELIEVE INDIA WILL BE THE NEXT LUXURY MARKET HOT SPOT?

 

 

UOF Instructor Update: Jessica Krupa

The success of University of Fashion has always been about the talent and expertise of our instructors, their lessons and the high level of our video production. Now, in our 14th year as the first and largest online fashion education resource, we thought it would be of interest to share with our subscribers what a few of our very talented instructors are up to these days. Over the next three weeks, we will be spotlighting three of these very talented instructors and how they have continued to expand their creativity as entrepreneurs and artists. First up…Jessica Krupa.

JESSICA KRUPA

 Jessica Krupa is a graduate and former instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology. With over 15 years of experience creating swimwear and intimate apparel collections for Fortune 500 companies, including Li & Fung, Jessica was awarded a bra design patent for innovation during her tenure at Victoria’s Secret. Needless to say, Jessica has tons of cred.

So, it’s no surprise that Jessica is crushing her new business venture, Panty Promise, the first seamless, certified organic cotton panty imported from Italy.     

UoF instructor and designer/founder of Panty Promise (Image courtesy: Panty Promise)

In 2020, Jessica identified the need for better panty options for women without risking their feminine wellness and was driven to solve this; enter Panty Promise. Jessica consulted with top NY Gynecologist Dr. Alyssa Dweck to make her vision come to life and took a year developing the best fabric and design, thus creating the first seamless certified organic cotton panty imported from a high-end mill in Italy.

Jessica’s design eliminates pesky panty lines and uncomfortable seams, like traditional cotton panties, resulting in a smooth and ultra-comfortable look and feel. Her design is Utility Patent Pending in the USA, Canada, EU and UK to keep the innovation and design protected against knockoffs.

Jessica Krupa launched her new brand Panty Promise in 2020 (Image courtesy: Panty Promise)

 

 

 

 

Jessica Krupa and NY Gynecologist Dr. Alyssa Dweck (Image courtesy: Panty Promise)

Panty Promise packaging/laundry bag (Image courtesy: Panty Promise)

Panty Promise strives to be a leader in the biodegradable and sustainable mission to keep the Earth clean. They’re research and testing proves that their panties will biodegrade back into the earth in just 4-6 months, meanwhile synthetics take over 200 years and breakdown into harmful chemicals.

Jessica Krupa ‘s Panty Promise – the first seamless certified organic cotton panty imported from a high-end mill in Italy (Image courtesy: Panty Promise)

Panty Promise is proud to be an affiliate of Cotton Incorporated, where the brand is a Cotton Leads Partner, ensuring ethical global harvesting of cotton trading and manufacturing through the commitment of Cotton Inc.

Jessica likes to say, “We’re saving the planet one panty at a time.”

Panty Promise panties sized XS-4X and in a variety of skin tones and styles: low, high, and mid-rise both in covered and bare bottoms. (Image courtesy: Panty Promise).

Panty Promise exhibits at the Curve Trade Show – Los Angeles 2023 (Image courtesy: Panty Promise)

In her first year of business Jessica exhibited at the Curve Trade Show, which helped catapult the brand to over 65 retailers after winning the New Brand Audience award during Curve’s Pitch off Competition.

Panty Promise is currently sold throughout the USA, Canada, the Caribbean, South America, Iceland and the Middle East, in body positive sizes XS-4X and in a variety of skin tones. Panty Promise wholesale price points range from $11-$14, with style offerings from low to high rise in both covered and bare bottoms.

We are proud and fortunate to include Jessica as one of our very talented and accomplished instructors. Catch her extremely popular 9-part swimwear series:
Drawing A Bandeau Swim Top
, Drawing A High Waist & Hipster Swim BottomDrawing A One Piece Plunge Halter With Shelf Bra, Drawing An Underwire Swim Top, Creating A Swimwear Tech Pack In Illustrator, Drawing A String Bikini Bottom, Drawing A String Bikini Top, Drawing A Swimsuit Block Template In Illustrator and Drawing A Push Up Swimsuit.

Big congrats to Jessica for her talent, expertise & entrepreneurship!

 

ARE YOU READY FOR DECENTRALAND’S METAVERSE FASHION WEEK 2023?

Decentraland Fashion Week 2023. (Photo Credit: Blockchain Witcher)

Fashion Month 2023 (IRL) may have ended but wait…there’s more! This time in the virtual world, as the concept of living in a virtual world is rapidly expanding. The fact that in 2021 the global virtual reality gaming market was valued at USD 7.5 billion and is projected to reach a value of USD 37 billion by 2028, it’s no shock to learn that the fashion industry wants in!

Virtual fashion has become increasingly popular, with designers exploring new concepts and pushing the boundaries of traditional fashion. After a high-profile debut in 2022, Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week 2023 will soon light up virtual stores and runways again, with a second installment set for March 28 to 31. Metaverse Fashion Week (MVFW) events are becoming some of the most highly anticipated events in the virtual reality world and a place where designers can showcase the latest trends and designs in both virtual and physical fashion.

What You Need To Know About Metaverse Fashion Week

First of all, here’s you ticket (March 28-31) to MVFW23  https://mvfw.org/

In 2022, Decentraland, a ‘decentralized’ virtual world platform, pioneered Metaverse Fashion Week to much acclaim. This year, Decentraland partnered with virtual-world platforms Spatial and Over, the latter a Metaverse specializing in augmented reality, for a greater cross-platform experience or, as they call it in virtual speak,” interoperability”.

For 2023, Decentraland is offering a cross-platform wearable design competition and the winners will be featured in a hybrid AR/IRL catwalk at a four-day event in Milan. Other Metaverses are interested in tying into MVFW with simultaneous agendas or satellite events.

MVFW23 promises that the global community will get to experience the latest advancements in metaversal interoperability and digital fashion and explore a place where users can buy, sell, and build on virtual land. Users can create their own virtual reality experiences, from games to social experiences, all powered by blockchain technology, which allows for secure transactions and ownership of virtual assets. MVFW is quickly becoming one of the most popular virtual reality global events. With a growing community of users, developers, fashion designers, influencers and fashion enthusiasts, it’s a great showcase for catching the latest creations and where the public can check out the latest trends in virtual fashion that push the boundaries of traditional fashion. It is also an opportunity to connect with others in the virtual reality community.

How to get to MVFW23 

Mark your calendar March 28-31 and here’s your “ticket” to MVFW23 https://mvfw.org/

Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week23 will feature over 60+ participating brands, artists, and designers from around the world and promises unique and immersive experiences that not only showcase the latest trends and designs in virtual fashion, but a place where attendees can expect a wide range of activities, including fashion shows, pop-up shops, networking opportunities and much, much more. #MVFW23

Metaverse Fashion Week 2023 (MVFW) to highlight advances in digital fashion & interoperability. (Photo Credit: FashionUnited)

In an interview with WWD, Giovanna Casimiro, the Metaverse producer for Decentraland in charge of its fashion week, “One of the core values from the first edition was trying to unite designers and expand the aesthetics and the possibilities for brands. So after the first edition, we decided to go across metaverses,” she explained. “When we talk about extending the interoperability, it’s really starting to collaborate with other universes and metaverses to create an agenda [that’s] cross-platform.”

Interoperability also extends to NFTs, which is a major change for wearables compared to last year’s event. During Metaverse Fashion Week 2022, brands couldn’t link their external NFTs to their virtual clothes inside Decentraland, but its developers worked on this feature and in September, Dolce & Gabbana — a previous and returning MVFW brand — notably highlighted it by linking its Disco Drip NFTs to Decentraland wearables, allowing owners to wear them to their next virtual party.

Dolce & Gabbana goes all out disco in Decentraland. (Photo Credit: Dolce & Gabbana)

How Virtual Clothes Become IRL Options 

According to WWD, linking virtual fashion NFTs to physical product could simplify how brands offer avatar-ready digital twins of their real-world fashion. Some of those efforts may be destined for Boson Protocol, a marketplace for so-called “phygital” goods, which is another previous and returning MVFW participant this year.

“There is one particular case of Rubin Singer,” said Casamiro in her WWD interview, referring to the couture designer and his “Phygicode Dress” project. “He’s creating a digital piece in collaboration with Asian designers this year. So he’s creating a digital twin of a physical garment for [this event] especially, but I think different brands will be trying to bring that angle this year.”

Another connection can be made during Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week 2023. The Vueltta artists collective plans to honor the late designer Vivienne Westwood with a tribute to the “punk queen of fashion”. Part memorial, part gaming experience, the installation was created with the goal of encouraging people to learn more about the designer’s life and work, according to Bay Backner, Vueltta’s cofounder.

One of Vueltta’s illustrations for Vivienne Westwood that will be featured in its tribute installation. (Photo Credit: imagenone)

“We structured this installation around a concept called ‘Dear Vivienne,’ which is a letter from us as artists to her, thanking her for her iconic style and activism,” Backner told WWD. There are different aspects, but they all work together.

Decentraland will also open a brand-new ‘fashion plaza’ during MVFW23 and it will be dedicated to emerging designers. The goal is to highlight and encourage collaborations between established brands and new talent, tying it directly to the MVFW23 theme, “Future Heritage”.

According to Casamiro, “it’s a way to bring a more critical discussion on the future of fashion” and to connect the dots between innovation, legacy and tradition. The Plaza’s featured brands point to this too, with emerging names like Gaian and Alo at one end, and Coach on the other, marking the luxury handbag company’s first direct showing at MVFW.

Coach’s first outing at MVFW will feature its signature Tabby bag. (Photo Credit: Photonone)

Here’s what else you can expect at Decentraland’s MVFW23:

CUTTING -EDGE VIRTUAL FASHON

One of the most exciting aspects of Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week 2023 is the cutting-edge fashion that will be showcased, since virtual fashion has many advantages over phygital fashion. Virtual fashion designers can create designs that are impossible in the physical world (for example: the need for zippers, closures and fit & wearability issues), allowing them to explore new concepts and to push the boundaries of traditional fashion. And, of course, virtual fashion is sustainable vs. traditional fashion, as it doesn’t require the use of physical materials.

Virtual fashion also offers a new level of customization and personalization. Virtual avatars can be customized to reflect the unique style and preferences of each individual user. Virtual fashion designers can create designs that are tailored to specific avatars, allowing users to express their individuality and to stand out in the virtual world.

INTERACTIVE FASHION SHOWS

Fashion shows are a staple of the fashion industry and Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week is no exception. The fashion shows at the event will be fully immersive and interactive, allowing attendees to experience the designs in a way that is not possible in the physical world.

Virtual fashion shows offer many advantages over traditional fashion shows. Virtual fashion shows can be more immersive and interactive, allowing attendees to explore the designs in a way that is not possible in the physical world. Virtual fashion shows can also be more accessible, as they do not require attendees to travel to a physical location.

The fashion shows at Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week 2023 promise to be a unique and enveloping experience, showcasing the latest trends and designs in virtual fashion. Attendees can expect to see virtual models showcasing the latest designs, and they can interact with the designs in various ways, such as changing the colors or textures of the clothes.

In addition to the traditional runway shows, there may also be virtual reality experiences that attendees can participate in, for example, attendees may be able to virtually explore a fashion exhibit or watch a 360-degree video showcasing the latest designs.

CELEBRITY GUESTS

Just like any major fashion event, Metaverse Fashion Week 2023 is likely to attract a wide range of celebrity guests. From fashion designers to models and influencers, the event promises to be a star-studded affair.

Influencers, celebrities, and designers can use virtual events like Metaverse Fashion Week to showcase their brands and reach a wider audience. The event offers an opportunity for these individuals to connect with their fans and showcase their latest virtual fashion designs.

VIRTUAL POP-UP SHOPS

Metaverse Fashion Week 2023 will also feature virtual pop-up shops where attendees can purchase the latest virtual fashion items and accessories for their avatars. The pop-up shops will allow attendees to experience the latest virtual fashion designs up close and personal.

Virtual pop-up shops are not just a novelty; they are a real industry that is gaining traction in the fashion world. Virtual fashion items like clothing, accessories, and footwear can be bought and sold in the virtual world just like in the physical world.

Virtual pop-up shops offer a unique shopping experience that cannot be replicated in the physical world. Attendees can explore the virtual shops, browse the latest virtual fashion items, and purchase items for their virtual avatars. Some brands will be linking the designs to physical brand options and vice versa.

NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES

Metaverse Fashion Week 2023 offers an excellent opportunity for designers, influencers, and fashion industry professionals to network and connect with each other. Virtual events like this offer a unique opportunity to connect with people from all over the world in a virtual setting. If you are an existing or aspiring virtual fashion designer, then this is your chance to get connected.

Networking is essential for anyone looking to make a name for themselves in the fashion industry. The event offers an opportunity to connect with other designers, influencers, and industry professionals, which can lead to collaborations, partnerships, and new business opportunities.

A GLOBAL AUDIENCE

MVFW23 will be accessible to anyone with an internet connection, making it a truly global event that can be enjoyed by fashion enthusiasts from all over the world.

A look at the arena at Decentraland, one of several venues lined up for MVFW. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Overall, Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week 2023 promises to be an exciting event with plenty of brands returning in the luxury district, perhaps even scouting out talent in the fashion plaza or setting up shop in one of the countless other zones — from DressX and The Fabricant, to DKNY, Perry Ellis and Tommy Hilfiger, to Dolce & Gabbana and Dundas, and more. MVFW23 continues to attract new participants such as Coach and Adidas. Although MVFW enjoyed lots of hype and buzz last year, Decentraland is hoping that the 2023 event will top last year’s numbers of 108,000 unique attendees.

The experiences between zones, groups, organizations and companies will vary, as some tiptoe into the Metaverse, while others dive in, but one thing is for sure, this interactive experience may be the tip of the iceberg and the future of the fashion industry.

So, tell us, will you be participating in Metaverse Fashion Week 2023?

 

 

 

CELEBRATING KWANZAA: FASHIONABLY

 

A lit kinara – celebrating each day of the 7 guiding principles during Kwanzaa Dec 26-January 1

 

KWANZAA –  is a weeklong celebration held in the United States that honors African heritage in African-American culture and is observed from December 26th to January 1st, culminating in gift giving and a big feast. We’d like to take this opportunity not only to celebrate it and discuss its history and its cultural significance, but also what to wear while celebrating the week long event. We’d also like to remind everyone that our once-yearly subscription discount expires on 1/1/23 and is a subscription to UoF is  great gift for yourself or for that fashionista in your life.

Get $40 off a yearly, was $189/now $149. Use discount code WIN1. Click on this link to sign-up https://www.universityoffashion.com/holiday-offer/

Kwanzaa History 

The holiday is relatively new, compared to other holidays celebrated in the U.S. Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chairman of Africana Studies at California State University, first created Kwanzaa in 1966. He created this holiday in response to the Watts Riots in Los Angeles in 1965 as a way to bring African-Americans together as a community.

The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase matunda ya kwanza, which means first fruits, or harvest in Swahili. Celebrations often include singing and dancing, storytelling, poetry reading, African drumming, and of course, feasting.

The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa

Dr. Karenga created seven guiding principles to be discussed during the week of Kwanzaa. The seven principles represent seven values of African culture that help build and reinforce community among African-Americans. Each day a different principle is discussed, and each day a candle is lit on the kinara (candleholder). On the first night, the center black candle is lit, and the principle of umoja, or unity is discussed. On the final day of Kwanzaa, families enjoy an African feast, called karamu.

image od 7 Kwanzaa Principles

7 Kwanzaa Guiding Principles

 

What to Wear to Karamu

image of Tongoro's Spring 2022 Collection.

Looks from Tongoro’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Tongoro)

 

Looks from Ahluwalia’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

 

image of Naomi Campbell at Kenneth Ike's fashion show 2019

Naomi Campbell walks Kenneth Ize’s fashion show at Arise Fashion Week in 2019. (Photo Credit: Kenneth Ize)

 

 

Have you Watched our African Textiles Series? 

In early 2022 we announced our new 5-part lecture series on West African textiles created by Mina Dia-Stevens. We are thrilled to announce the launch of part three,West African Textiles: Senegal-Manjak Cloth. Stay tuned in 2023 for parts 4 and 5: WestAfricanTextiles-Ivory Coast and WestAfricanTextiles-Ghana.


UoF lesson preview- West African Textiles: Senegal-Manjak Cloth

 


UoF lesson preview – West African Textiles: Bogolanfini of Mali

 


UoF lesson preview –  West African Textiles: Faso Dani Cloth of Burkina Faso

For more information on Africa’s burgeoning fashion industry, view our blog post OUT OF AFRICA: AFRICAN DESIGNERS ARE FINALLY ON THE FASHION MAP.

THE COUNCIL OF FASHION DESIGNERS TURNS 60

- - Fashion Events

Ezra J. William, Tina Leung, Prabal Gurung, Laura Kim, Eva Chen and Phillip Lim won the the Positive Social Influence Award. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

American fashion’s second ‘biggest’ night took place on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022 (the first being the MET Gala), when the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), in partnership with Amazon Fashion, held its 2022 Fashion Awards extravaganza at Cipriani South Street in New York City.  An orange-haired and comical Natasha Lyonne, the evening’s host, was joined by designers Gabriela Hearst, Joseph Altuzarra, Aurora James and Proenza Schouler’s Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough. What was so special about the 2022 CFDA awards was it marked the CFDA’s 60th anniversary.

Natasha Lyonne in Proenza Schouler hosted the CFDA Awards. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

If you are a true blue follower of all things fashion, like us, then you were most likely streaming the show real time. But you just have to wonder whether there is a course on how to pose on the Red Carpet. Don’t know about you, but we had endless fun watching as each of the designers and celebs lined up in cue against the CFDA backdrop, and to quote Madonna, “struck a pose”.

As usual, this year CFDA Fashion Award honorees were chosen in advance of the show but the award winners were announced at the awards ceremony. Winners were voted on ahead of time by the CFDA Awards Guild, which is comprised of CFDA members, leading fashion journalists, stylists, and top retail executives.

The most coveted awards are always American Womenswear Designer of the Year and American Menswear Designer of the Year. Actress Christina Ricci presented the American Womenswear Designer of the Year award to Catherine Holstein of KHAITE (takes its name from the Greek word (χαίτη) meaning “long, flowing hair.”). Holstein’s label beat out nominees Christopher John Rogers, Gabriela Hearst, LaQuan Smith, and Peter Do.

Christina Ricci and Womenswear Designer of the Year Catherine Holstein of KHAITE. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The Daily Show’s late night television host Trevor Noah was on hand to give the American Menswear Designer of the Year to Emily Adams Bode Aujla of Bode. Actor Joel Kim Booster presented Raul Lopez of LUAR with the American Accessory Designer of the Year. And actress Keke Palmer presented the American Emerging Designer award to Elena Velez.

Trevor Noah and Menswear Designer of the Year Emily Bode Aujla. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Cher in Chrome Hearts and Patti Wilson in Schiaparelli at the CFDA Awards. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

And of course, the event was filled with the most fashionable celebrities. Cher (can you believe she is 76?) opened the ceremony by presenting stylist Patti Wilson the Media Award in honor of Eugenia Sheppard. Later that night Cher presented another award alongside her goddaughter Jesse Jo Stark to give The Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award to Laurie Lynn Stark and Richard Stark of Chrome Hearts; and of course, Cher rocked a Chrome Hearts look.

Kerry Washington and Stylist Award winner Law Roach. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

A major addition to the CFDA awards is the “Stylist Award”. Those in the know, know that without stylists, a runway show or a photoshoot would be meh. Stylists work with designers, celebs  and photographers to put the “wow factor” into a designer’s designs or create a celebrity’s ‘look’. We can’t believe it took this long for the CFDA to recognize these change makers.

Stylist Law Roach received the inaugural Stylist Award from Kerry Washington. Roach gave one of the most memorable speeches of the night. The stylist extraordinaire shared that in 2016 Zendaya was invited by Michael Kors to attend the CFDA Awards at Hammerstein Ballroom. He watched the show from the kitchen. “I sat and watched from the kitchen with the waiters who served your food and drinks,” Roach said. “I said to myself that one day I’m going to be on that stage! I’m an example that anything and everything is possible.”

Natasha Lyonne and Fashion Icon Lenny Kravitz. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The night was filled with plenty of additional highlights as well. Actor Bradley Cooper presented rock star Lenny Kravitz with the very fittingly Fashion Icon award. Meanwhile, American Businesswoman and television personality Martha Stewart presented the inaugural Innovation Award presented by Amazon Fashion to SKIMS, which was accepted by Kim Kardashian, Emma Grede, and Jens Grede. The entire Kardashian/Jenner crew (with the exception of Kourtney) attended the CFDA Awards and cheered Kim on for her big achievement.

Khloé Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Kris Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner

There were plenty of additional wins for the evening including Andrew Bolton receiving the The Founder’s Award in honor of Eleanor Lambert from non-other than Anna Wintour, Jeffrey Banks receiving the Special Anniversary Award from Stan Herman,  The United Nations receiving the Environmental Sustainability Award from Amber Valletta, and The House of Slay—aka Prabal Gurung, Laura Kim, Phillip Lim, Tina Leung, and Ezra William—receiving the Positive Social Influence Award from Eva Chen. During one of the a tearful moments of the night, Shannon Abloh accepted the posthumous Board of Trustee’s Award on behalf of her late husband, Virgil Abloh.

AND THE WINNERS ARE……

American Womenswear Designer of the Year: Catherine Holstein for Khaite

American Menswear Designer of the Year: Emily Bode Aujla for Bode

American Accessory Designer of the Year: Raul Lopez for Luar

American Emerging Designer of the Year: Elena Velez

Fashion Icon: Lenny Kravitz

Positive Social Influence Award: Slaysians from The House of Slay featuring Prabal Gurung, Laura Kim, Phillip Lim, Tina Leung and Ezra William

Founder’s Award in Honor of Eleanor Lambert: Andrew Bolton

Amazon Innovation Award: Kim Kardashian, Emma Grede and Jens Grede of Skims

Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award: Laurie Lynn Stark and Richard Stark of Chrome Hearts

Media Award in Honore of Eugenia Sheppard: Patti Wilson

Environmental Sustainability Award: The United Nations (to be accepted by Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General)

Stylist Award: Law Roach

Special Anniversary Award: Jeffrey Banks

Gigi Hadid, Thom Browne and Anna Wintour at the CFDA Awards Dinner. (Photo Credit: FashionWeekDaily)

So tell us, do you have a fav designer?