As for the Swarovski Award for Positive Change which serves to honor an individual in the U.S. fashion industry who has made a positive impact on American communities and has improved the welfare of others, luminary Kenneth Cole was awarded for his relentless activism and social impact in the field. The award presenter, Jon Bon Jovi, noted, “It's great to be recognized for your shoes, but it's better to be recognized for your soul."
In addition, winners receiving accolades at this year’s event included Calvin Klein Creative Director Raf Simons for both the Womenswear Designer of the Year Award and the Menswear Designer of the Year Award – an honor only previously held by Klein himself – as well as Coach’s Stuart Vevers for Accessory Designer of the Year Award. Also recognized with high honors were Rick Owens with the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award; Pat McGrath with the Founder’s Award; Vetements and Balenciaga designer Demna Gvasalia with the International Award; and Cecile Richards, Gloria Steinem, and Janelle Monae with the Board of Directors’ Tribute.
The night’s most notable and emotional accolade, the Fashion Icon Award, posthumously honored Vogue Italia’s Franca Sozzani. Anna Wintour, American Vogue’s editor-in-chief and longtime friend to Sozzani, presented the award to the late editor’s son Francesco Carrozzini stating, “Trust, and be, yourself. That was the lesson Franca taught me, and the courage we celebrate today. Those of us who visited her in her final months saw her be herself to the end: clever, stylish, beautiful, never self-pitying, full of irreverence and wit and life. Today we keep Franca Sozzani in our minds and in our hearts. Thank you all—and thank you, Franca.”
Commemorating further the evening’s most deserving individuals, festivities continued backstage with signature Swarovski sparkle. Attendees including Kerry Washington, Karen Elson, and Eryn Allen Kane posed for brilliant photo ops surrounded by crystals for a series of dazzling and inspiring images celebrating the industry’s brightest stars.
Through a solid commitment to developing new talent and standing behind the industry’s most pioneering minds, Swarovski remains a dedicated partner of designers and the fashion industry at large.