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CFDA 2019

When Mr. Valentino was still a young designer, his career got a major boost thanks to the support of his American clientele—legendary editors such as Diana Vreeland and icons such as Jackie Kennedy Onassis. In a gesture of thanks, he and Mr. Giammetti have sponsored the CFDA's Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti International Award; last night, at CFDA Awards in New York City, the first of these prizes was given to Sarah Burton, Creative Director of Alexander McQueen.


"We are honored to give the award that carries our names to Sarah Burton," says Mr. Giammetti. "With her work, she has expressed at best the concept of devotion and respect for the heritage of an extraordinary designer that was Alexander McQueen."


The non-profit Fondazione Valentino Garavani e Giancarlo Giammetti, the official sponsor of the award, was founded in part to promote culture and the arts. The CFDA award marks the Fondazione's first gift to a fashion beneficiary, and money behind the prize will be directed toward the CFDA's Fashion Manufacturing Initiative, which connects emerging designers with production services that can enhance their craftsmanship. It is, Mr. Valentino says, "our Foundation's first step in supporting American fashion designers and students."


Mr. Valentino and Mr. Giammetti attended the awards ceremony, a star-studded event held at the Brooklyn Museum. They were joined there by friends: Longtime Valentino aficionado Jennifer Lopez took home the CFDA's Fashion Icon award, and Diane von Furstenburg, a pal of even longer standing, was on hand to pass the torch of CFDA leadership to Tom Ford, after chairing the organization for thirteen years. The prize for Womenswear Designer of the Year was given to Brandon Maxwell, who has worked his way up from "emerging" status since founding his eponymous brand more than a decade ago. Perhaps the next Brandon Maxwell will be the beneficiary of the Fondazione's largesse in endowing the CFDA's work to support bright young fashion talents.


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