By Erika Harwood. Photos: Getty Images.
The annual C.F.D.A. Awards, which celebrate fashion’s best and brightest, will be honoring a few women outside of the industry this year. On Thursday evening, Diane von Furstenberg announced that Gloria Steinem, Janelle Monae, and Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards would be the recipients of this year’s Board of Directors’ Tribute. “Many things are happening in the country right now, and some things we are less proud of than others,” von Furstenberg said. “The day of the Women’s March, three women came out so strongly, and it was such a wonderful trio, so we would like to honor them.”
Steven Kolb, President and C.E.O of the C.F.D.A., told Vanity Fair in a statement, “The award reflects a sentiment designers are feeling on women’s empowerment. Gloria Steinem, Cecile Richards and Janelle Monae are each strong alone, but as a multi-generational group, they send a powerful message that style comes from action.”
The Cut spoke to Von Furstenberg after she announced the honorees, asking her about the decision to include Steinem. “First of all, who is cooler, and who looks cooler, than Gloria Steinem?” she said. “She loves fashion. It’s just that they were so strong as a trio, I felt that we should honor them.”
Throughout her decades of championing women, Steinem has carved out her own iconic style (Teen Vogue has even published a “How to Dress Like Gloria Steinem” primer). But what is more recognizable than her oversized glasses and middle part are her undeterred efforts toward women’s rights, including her recent speech at the Women’s March.
In 2016 this honor was given to the late David Bowie, whose many alter-egos ushered in a new era of boundary-pushing fashion. While Monae, an actress and musician, is often lauded for her specific black, white, and red aesthetic in her performances and on the red carpet, her C.F.D.A. award will be focused on her efforts for women’s equality alongside Steinem and Richards.
This story originally appeared on Vanity Fair.
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