CFDA Plans Pool Party to Hold In-person Awards Event

NEW YORK Much is in flux as the Delta variant takes hold in different regions of the world, but that hasn’t deterred the Council of Fashion Designers of America from revealing plans to hold its annual awards gala in-person in early November.

The extravaganza is slated for Nov. 10 at The Pool and The Grill in the Seagram Building on Park Avenue. The gathering will be a return to an IRL bash following last year’s CFDA Fashion Awards, which were held digitally via the CFDA’s Runway360 platform.

Steven Kolb, the CFDA’s chief executive officer, said: “This is an important moment in American fashion. There is much excitement about the return of New York City and New York Fashion Week, as well as the top caliber of diverse talent making their mark on the city and the global fashion landscape. The awards are CFDA’s biggest fundraiser of the year supporting our scholarship program, and we look forward to our industry coming together, in person again, to celebrate the very best of American creativity.”

The 2021 CFDA Fashion Awards will take place in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and New York state health guidelines.

Barring any new health and safety mandates by federal, state or local authorities, this fall is shaping up to being a busy one for the fashion industry. The CFDA in partnership with IMG recently released the official New York Fashion Week schedule as part of the American Collections Calendar. After two seasons of predominantly digital shows, in-person ones are expected to be held from Sept. 8 to 12. In total, 91 shows and presentations from American and international designers are planned.

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Like the CFDA’s Fashion Awards, The Met Gala is going to be a scaled-down version. Scheduled for Sept. 13, it will run on the heels of NYFW. Five days later on Sept. 18, The Met’s Costume Institute will unveil “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” which will be the first of a two-part exploration of fashion in the U.S.

The Fashion Group International has also marked another date on the fall calendar. The organization plans to stage its annual “Night of Stars” awards event in-person for the first time in two years. It is scheduled for Oct. 13 at Cipriani South Street, a historic Beaux Arts building with ample outdoor space for social distancing.

The CFDA’s venue of choice is a historic one. Built in 1959 and restored in 2016, the Seagram Building is one of 117 interior landmarks in New York City. Esteemed architect Philip Johnson first did the honors and more recently Annabelle Selldorf freshened up Johnson’s designs with a spruced-up lighting system by Hervé Descottes of L’Observatoire International.

Without question, the CFDA Awards will be more intimate than in years past. In June 2019, the awards were held at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. The group has also used more spacious venues like Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. The Pool Room can accommodate 200 seated, 180 with dancing and The Grill can accommodate 120 seated, and 250 reception style, according to the venue’s site. The Pool is familiar territory to CFDA chairman Tom Ford, who staged a celebrity-studded fashion show there for his namesake label in 2016. Ford also designed the uniforms that are worn by The Pool’s wait staff.

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