Why Are So Many Of The CFDA Award Nominees So Young?

The nominees for the Council of Fashion Designers of America‘s 2011 awards ceremony are set, and the list is more or less a roster of the coolest kids working in the industry. And when we say kids, we mean kids. Because for the most part, this year’s nominees are pretty young.

Lady Gaga, 24, is up for the Fashion Icon Award, which Iman won last year at age 55. Alexander Wang, 26, is nominated for three awards, more than any other nominee this year. The Lifetime Achievement Award is going to Marc Jacobs, 47, who joked that it should only be called a “half lifetime achievement award.”

We have the full list of nominees and honorees below — if you take a look through it, you’ll certainly notice names you recognize, but few who have been working as living brand names for decades the way past winners of these awards have. Eric Wilson of The New York Times was surprised that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen got nods, while “most of the biggest American designers, including Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Michael Kors and Calvin Klein’s Francisco Costa, were shut out.” The CFDA’s mission isn’t to honor young designers, it’s to honor talented ones. Either the people who run it think these young bucks are more talented than the old masters, or they’re changing course.

Womenswear Designer of the Year Nominees: Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang, and Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez from Proenza Schouler.

Menswear Designer of the Year Nominees: Michael Bastian, Patrick Ervell and Simon Spurr.

Accessories Designer of the Year Nominees: Alexander Wang, Reed Krakoff, and Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler.

Swarovski Up-And-Coming Talent Award:

Womenswear: Joseph Altuzarra, Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen and Prabal Gurung

Menswear: Alexander Wang, Philip Lim and Robert Geller

Accessories: Eddie Borgo, Jason Wu, Alejandro Ingelmo and Pamela Love (who’s already doing a collection for Topshop).

There are a few other honorees who will walk away from the ceremony on June 6 with trophies. Phoebe Philo of Celine will take home the International Award. Hal Rubenstein, fashion director of InStyle magazine, will win the Eleanor Lambert Award. The Eugenia Shepard Award (for fashion journalism) will go to Hilary Alexander of The Daily Telegraph. And last but not least, the CFDA Board of Directors’ Special Tribute Award goes to photographer Arthur Elgort.

CFDA Fashion Award Nominees Set [WWD]
A Few Surprises in This Year’s Fashion Awards [On The Runway]

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