The Politics Behind Winning a CFDA Award

The fashion industry, like any other, is fueled by good old fashioned competition, so it's no surprise that the CFDA awards are typically riddled with political maneuvering in the interest of winning. 

Any awards rally supplements the merit of talent with the pre-prize hustling, especially in the more glamorous fields of Hollywood and fashion.  They're industries based on putting one's best face forward, after all.  The CFDA awards for the year's top designers in women's wear, menswear, accessories and more are no exception, and clever lobbying and strong connections in order to come out on top have been de rigeur for decades.  

Just like a mother may send cupcakes to the sorority house during rush, CEOs of international fashion brands often write impassioned tributes to their star designers for the industry's elite and those who vote.  WWD breaks down a slew of other options, from the requisite party circuit and persistent outreach to the simple distribution of one's lookbook.  The latter seems appropriately informative -- it's actually surprising voters wouldn't automatically get the looks from the organization itself. 

As industry veteran Vera Wang told WWD, "Campaigning has been the rule, not the exception, forever -- and I've been in fashion for 40 years."

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