Last night the CFDA Awards, the Oscars of the fashion world, took place and in New York at Alice Tully Hall and the winners are in. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen took away the big womenswear designer of the year award for The Row, Joseph Altuzarra won the Swarovski Award for womenswear and Phillip Lim for menswear and Tommy Hilfiger was awarded the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award.
Simon Spurr didn't end up winning the menswear designer of the year award, which was just as well considering all of the controversy surrounding his departure from his namesake line.
Simon Spurr's departure from his eponymous line was a shock. The announcement came only a few days after he was nominated for the CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year award and things became even more awkward when his former co-partner Judd Nydes confirmed that the brand will continue without him.
Despite all of the speculation surrounding the news, both parties remained tight lipped about the cause of the split besides wishing each other well in a piece ran by WWD, but this week they decided to shed more light on the decision to the New York Times' Eric Wilson.
According to the Times, the disagreements centred around a concern about making the label more commercially viable, which is something that Spurr hinted in his interview with WWD. Their diffusion line, Spurr, had not been performing particularly well and going accessible wasn't a route that Spurr wanted to go. His decision to leave appears to have been part an 'ultimatum to the investors that he would not risk cheapening the brand [by making it cheaper and more accessible], since many retailers have said they will not carry the line without him.'
The CFDA Awards are less than a week away and now the confirmations of those involved are coming in thick and fast. While we already know who some of the awards are going to - Johnny Depp is receiving the style icon award and the media award is going to Garance Dore and Scott Schuman - this years presenters have remained under wraps until now.
According to WWD, Jessica Chastain will present the women's wear award to Marc Jacobs, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen for The Row or Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler. The menswear award will be presented to either Billy Reid, Simon Spurr or Patrik Ervell by Matt Bomer and Jessica Paré will present for accessories.
On a different note, who else has a feeling that Kim Kardashian will attend this year's event to make a point after Met Gala-gate?
The announcement of Simon Spurr's departure from his own brand last month was bizarre for several reasons. Firstly, it followed the announcement of the brand's nomination of a CFDA award and also, such fashion musical chairs doesn't commonly take place at young brands. The confusion wasn't helped by the fact that both Spurr and his co-partner Judd Nydes kept the reason for Spurr's departure close to their chest.
The pair have decided to speak out this week and dispel all of the speculation. Judd, who will remain at the company, told WWD, 'We regret Simon’s unfortunate decision to leave the company. The company plans to continue without Simon and is looking towards a bright future as its business continues to mature.' Spurr hinted that his decision to move was a result of disagreements which 'had been going on for a while now'. When asked about the next step he wasn't too forthcoming but said that he's 'looking forward with great hope and excitement toward my future within the industry as a men’s fashion designer.'
The musical chairs in the industry isn't slowing down. While some of the big changes have been expected, there has been a few nuggets recently that we came as a shock. First up was Amanda Brooks who resigned from Barneys last week and now Simon Spurr has announced his departure from his namesake label. It was only last week that his brand was nominated for CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year award alongside Billy Reid and Patrik Ervell so the news definitely comes as a surprise.
But we were not the only ones confused about the news as WWD reported that members of the team were also 'shocked' by the announcement. The reason for his departure remains a mystery. When the news was released he kept quiet on the issue saying, 'At this moment, I’m not at liberty to say anything about what’s gone on' and today the brand's PR rep confirmed that 'at this time all p.r. is on hold' and they are not sending samples out for editorials. So if you weren't left wondering about why he decided to leave to begin with, you definitely will now.
The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund prize is a big one but just to make it a bit more interesting this year, they've decided to treat the finalists to a bonus trip to Paris.
According to The Cut, Tommy Hilfiger is sponsoring the program, which enables these designers to show their collections in Paris to ensure that their collections are seen by those press and buyers who couldn't make it to New York Fashion Week. The lucky ten designers are Prabal Gurung, Sophie Theallet, Simon Spurr, Billy Reid, Eddie Borgo, Monique Péan, Ohne Titel, George Esquivel, Gregory Parkinson, and Pamela Love.
"I am English, and my brand is decidedly American," said designer Simon Spurr. "I really wanted to establish my British roots and deliver something modern and elegant into American fashion week." Modern and elegant menswear? No problem for a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist who trained at YSL (under Hedi Slimane), Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. The designer took his first runway turn this week, after already gaining a cult following for his denim label, Spurr. And what he just sent down the runway could easily be our favourite new menswear line in recent years.
Fans of plaids, cashmere and crisp tailoring should have no problem finding pieces to love. From a grey pinstripe three-piece suit worn with motorcycle gloves to a crop-sleeved jacked worn over a striped jumper, Spurr was out to remake the dapper English gentleman with a tough and confident edge. (Mr Darcy never would have listened to Babyshambles, which the designer included in his runway playlist.) The denim that first made Spurr a noteworthy name had its place - as in, teamed with a dark, streamlined button-up and black hooded toggle coat. Did it look American? We'd say so. But it takes a Brit to bring tailoring like that.
Flora Gill and Alexa Adams of Ohne Titel; Waris Ahluwali of House of Waris
It's a pretty huge pat on the back for designers to receive the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. Past winners of the cash award and mentorship include Proenza Schouler, Doo-Ri Chung and Alexander Wang - without argument, some of fashion's (freshest) big names. And the Fashion Fund has just been tipping us off to great designers for six years.
This year's 10 finalists have been announced, so now you'll know who to keep on your style radar. Try Flora Gill and Alexa Adams of Ohne Titel; Waris Ahluwalia of House of Waris; Monique Pean; Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin; Patrik Ervell; Wayne Lee of Wayne; Sophie Theallet; Gary Graham; George Esquivel of Esquivel Shoes; and Simon Spurr of Spurr.
A big congrats to all of them, and we'll keep our fingers crossed for Nov. 16, when the winner is announced.