CFDA to Present Lenny Kravitz With Icon Award

“I certainly don’t perceive myself as a ‘fashion icon,’” said Lenny Kravitz, “but I love the art form.”

The art form has long loved him back and begs to disagree about his fashion icon status, as this year he is receiving the CFDA’s Fashion Icon Award.

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The 58-year-old New York native is one of rock music’s most esteemed figures, emerging in 1989 with his debut album “Let Love Rule.” As his popularity grew into the early 2000s, he broke the record for most wins in the Grammy category of Best Male Rock Vocal Performance by taking home the trophy consecutively for four years, from 1999 to 2002.

Throughout his prominence, he’s consistently been recognized for his singular approach to fashion.

“There are so many people I’ve looked up to in terms of fashion,” Kravitz said. “I can list the greats like Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Prince, David Bowie, Yves Saint Laurent and others, but the first was my mother. I can’t remember a moment where she didn’t look perfect. She showed me how important it was to look your best starting from within. That’s what a fashion icon is to me.”

Kravtiz has long been embraced by the fashion industry, sitting in the front row at shows back in the ’90s (Betsey Johnson’s fall 1999 collection alongside Vivica A. Fox) to today (often Saint Laurent with daughter Zoë Kravitz. In 2020, he joined her as a face of the brand).

“Fashion is another avenue for artistic expression. There are no rules other than to be yourself. If what I’m doing connects or inspires someone to be more confident in their own skin, there’s nothing more I could ask for. It all comes from within. Just be you,” Kravitz said. “It’s definitely a part of my life. I absorb inspiration from everywhere I can. That could be an outfit or a look I’ve noticed. That could translate beyond what I’m wearing on any given day and into a design idea or an element of the live show. I try not to think about it too much, because it’s the best when it just hits me.”

As he reflects on the CFDA honor and the past year’s highlights, it’s been the return to a more social life that stands out the most.

“It’s been great to be back out in the world,” Kravitz says. “I’ve had the opportunity to be back onstage from the Met Gala to The Grammys where I performed with H.E.R. I have lots of new music, design projects, photography, a film project and other endeavors going on. I’ve been spending a lot of time in Mexico and I recently launch a sotol brand called Nocheluna. I’m in a great place. I feel blessed and I’m really looking forward to the future.”

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