As tonight’s host Seth Meyers put it, the CFDA Awards are the Oscars of fashion, awkward moments and inspiring speeches included. But the ceremony isn’t just an evening during which the industry pats itself on the back—it's when the fashion crowd reveals itself for what it is: A world full of weirdos and incredibly talented individuals.
Last night's affair delivered its usual dose of laughable and encouraging moments, from Diane von Furstenberg urging everyone to get drunk (“Don’t forget to drink a lot of the tequila that’s on your table,” the CFDA chairwoman told attendees) to when Pat McGrath humbly confessed she was horrified she was being honored with the Founder's Award because, as a makeup artist, she is not used to the spotlight. Honorable mentions include Meyers’ attempt to poke fun at Demna Gvasalia, who took home the International Award, for his rendition of the IKEA tote bag for Balenciaga, and Janelle Monáe, another honoree for her work in the Women's March, admitting that she is "still trying to figure this shit out," just like the rest of us.
But more importantly, the CFDA Awards serve to celebrate our love of fashion, and why—no matter how much it changes or makes us question its entire existence—we still love it. Below, we've compiled the most inspiring quotes heard throughout the evening. To see all the winners, click here.
From left: Diane von Furstenberg and Raf Simons
Photo: BFA.com. View more at BFA.com
“...Talent is more important than ever. Business models may change. Distribution may be disrupted. Fashion week questioned. But talent is the heart, the engine. And that is what will make our industry not only survive, but thrive.” — Diane von Furstenberg, chairwoman of the CFDA, during her welcome speech
“I came to America because America and you—its people—are inspiring to me, are inspiring to us. If this means that we can give something back and we can inspire, then we are more than happy at Calvin Klein. More than thankful at Calvin Klein. It feels like a big welcome.” — Raf Simons on winning Menswear Designer of the Year and Womenswear Designer of the Year
“To all the students, I want to say something. More than ever, it is our task to inspire and to be an example for all the people. And I think if we as creatives can be an inspiration for how the world should look, I think it’s something we should take as a very important task of our existence.” —Raf Simons
“What people often miss about fashion is that it is so much fun. What could be better than being on set, seated with major personalities [and] true eccentrics, and most importantly, laughing and creating? Fashion is an industry where the real insiders are all absolutely outsiders.” — Pat McGrath, winner of the Founder's Award in Honor of Eleanor Lambert, during her acceptance speech
“As a child, I didn’t know that there was such a profession as ‘fashion designer.’ I would have dreamt of becoming one, for sure. I could never do this job without such a fascination of how clothes can change us and how we can use them as powerful tools of communication and self-expression." — Demna Gvasalia, winner of the International Award, during his acceptance speech
“She was not just ahead of our time—she was ahead of our courage in so many ways.” — Anna Wintour on the late Franca Sozzani, winner of the Fashion Icon Award
“Feminism starts out very simple. It starts out with a child saying, 'It's not fair!'" — Gloria Steinem, Board of Directors’ Tribute honoree
“Healthcare isn’t a privilege. It’s a fundamental human right.” — Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards, Board of Directors’ Tribute honoree
“There has never been a more important time to be bold, and to be fearless, and to take a stand and make a statement.” — Cecile Richards
"As human beings, let us never forget that none of us are free until all of us are free.” — Janelle Monáe, Board of Directors’ Tribute honoree