Todd Snyder On CFDA Nomination, Celebratory Pints

Three years after leaving J. Crew, his own line is now at Bergdorf

Barely a month after we featured men's designer Todd Snyder as a Thread "One to Watch," the former J.Crew designer went and earned himself a nomination for the CFDA's Swarovski Award. Naturally, we were eager to hear how Snyder was celebrating—and what he might do with the prize money were he to win.

Where were you when you found out about the CFDA nomination?
I was actually sitting at my desk. Just working, it was a totally normal day when I got the phone call.

What was your first thought?
I practically fell off my chair! And I'm not a very emotional person, but the one thing I wanted to do was hug somebody and I couldn't seem to find anybody to hug that wouldn't have taken offense.

This has been a huge year for you, between being named one of the Best New Designers in America by GQ, and now the CFDA nomination. Why do you think your work is resonating right now?
Well I left my job three years ago, right when Lehman Brothers went under and the whole economy went to crap. And I remember saying to myself, 'oh boy, is this the right move?' I had left J.Crew, and it was a great job and I loved working there, but afterward it was a little bit of, 'well, what do I do now?' I'm very grateful that all this has happened. I knew that the work I put in for the last twenty years—that was what I needed to keep on doing, and keep myself focused on what that message was. I wasn't trying to get any accolades for the line, I just wanted to launch it,  and I was thrilled that Bergdorf was carrying it, and Ron Herman was carrying it. So when this happened, it was kind of a dream come true. I couldn't wish for anything more. It's just amazing that it happened like this.

How did you celebrate the nomination?
We went over to Pastis in the Meatpacking with the whole team and had a pint. It was great.

Do you think the nomination will affect the brand?
I think the awareness. You can't match it. It increases brand visibility and that's truly a gift, regardless if we win or not. For my team, I think it makes everybody feel good about the work they've put into the brand. It makes all those long nights and weekends feel worth it.

Were you to win, how might you invest the prize money?
It's funny, I didn't even know there was a prize! I never really thought about it. I think the whole process is so great for young designers. I have to say, the one thing I can give testament to is…I mean, I worked for a large corporation for 20 years, and there was somebody else paying the bills. Now I'm the one paying the bills, and it's a different perspective. It costs a lot of money, and these funds really help us out. I look at it as, being nominated is totally worth it, and if that's all I get, then I couldn't be happier.

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