Calvin Klein Chief Named Top Designer For Men and Women

Raf Simons, winner of the awards for menswear designer of the year and womenswear designer of the year, poses in the press room at the CFDA Fashion Awards at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Monday, June 5, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Raf Simons, winner of the awards for menswear designer of the year and womenswear designer of the year, poses in the press room at the CFDA Fashion Awards at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Monday, June 5, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Designer Raf Simons of Calvin Klein scored a rare double win at fashion’s glittery awards ceremony on Monday, winning both womenswear and menswear honors at the annual Council of Fashion Designers of America awards.

The ceremony, hosted by Seth Meyers, had an activist bent this year, reaching outside the industry to honor feminist icon Gloria Steinem, Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards, and actress Janelle Monae for their involvement in the Women’s March on Washington in January. The three were presented with the Board of Director’s Special Tribute by designer Diane von Furstenberg, who said they had “epitomized and crystallized” the march.

Simons, formerly of Dior, has made a huge splash in American fashion since arriving at Calvin Klein at the beginning of the year. The Belgian designer presented his debut collection for Calvin Klein in February, to rave reviews. That show was not without social commentary. It opened and closed, pointedly, with the David Bowie song, “This is not America.”

“If we as creatives can be an inspiration for how the world should look,” Simons said in his speech Monday night, “I think that it’s something we should take as a very important task.” Actress Nicole Kidman presented him with the womenswear award.

Other celebrity presenters included actresses Kerry Washington and Mandy Moore, and singer Jon Bon Jovi.

Mia Moretti, left, and Stacey Bendet attend the CFDA Fashion Awards at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Monday, June 5, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Mia Moretti, left, and Stacey Bendet attend the CFDA Fashion Awards at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Monday, June 5, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Richards, speaking after Steinem, earned cheers from the crowd when she said, “health care isn’t a privilege, it’s a fundamental human right.”

“The fashion industry has long celebrated bodily autonomy and free expression and the right of every person to live their life on their own terms,” she said. “In this moment, at a time when these principles are being threatened like never before, you are rising up to fight back.”

Monae, recalling the march in Washington, said she was “reminded of all of those faces that I saw … young, old, gay, straight. I saw different religious backgrounds, it didn’t matter because they were together as human beings, and that’s the one thing that left with me.”

Monae closed by asking the crowd to “speak out against the sexism, the racism, the homophobia, the Islamophobia, and all those things that are constantly trying to divide us.”

In other awards, the Swarovski award for emerging talent went to Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia of the Monse label. They also are the designers of Oscar de la Renta. Accessory designer of the year went to Stuart Vevers of Coach.

Cynthia Rowley, left, and Coco Rocha attend the CFDA Fashion Awards at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Monday, June 5, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Cynthia Rowley, left, and Coco Rocha attend the CFDA Fashion Awards at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Monday, June 5, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Kenneth Cole won an inaugural Swarovski award for positive change, and the fashion icon award –” which in the past has gone to names like Rihanna and Beyonce — was given posthumously to Franca Sozzani, the former editor in chief of Italian Vogue, who died in December. Vogue editor Anna Wintour choked back tears as she presented the award, which was accepted by Sozzani’s son, Francesco Carrozzini.

Designer Rick Owens won a lifetime achievement award, and makeup artist Pat McGrath won a founder’s award.

Gabrielle Union, left, and Dwyane Wade attend the CFDA Fashion Awards at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Monday, June 5, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Pat McGrath, winner of the founders award in honor of Eleanor Lambert, center, poses in the press room with Karen Elson, far left, and Amber Valletta at the CFDA Fashion Awards at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Monday, June 5, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

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