The Kardashian Family Took Over the CFDA Awards

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 07:  Kylie Jenner and Kris Jenner attend the CFDA Fashion Awards at Ca...
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When the Kardashians took over the red carpet at this year’s Met Gala, attending with all five sisters and Kris Jenner in tow, it was a big moment for the family. For years, it was rumored that Kim Kardashian was unofficially shunned from the Met Gala, only let in when on the arm of her now ex-husband. But over time, the second eldest sister elbowed her way into the industry, developing relationships with designers and eventually becoming a bonafide fashion girl, and ever since then, her sisters have followed in her path (to various levels of success). That resulted in the Kardashian-filled carpet, a milestone yes, but over the years, the Met Gala has become more so a celebrity event than a fashion event. Now, the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s (CFDA) annual awards, that’s a fashion event, no question. So when the Kardashians arrived five strong tonight (with only Kourtney left at home), it may have been on a smaller red carpet, and it might not have made as many headlines, but it was arguably a bigger deal for the family’s fashion industry relations.

Since 1962, the CFDA has promoted American fashion brands and designers, through resources, scholarships, mentorships, and more. In 1981, they began holding their annual awards event to celebrate and honor excellence in fashion design, with nominations submitted by the Fashion Guild, a group comprised of over 1,500 CFDA members including designers, stylists, retailers, and editors. While yes, the Met Gala is also a night to celebrate fashion, it’s also a fundraiser, so the more eyes on the event the better, and over the years, the Gala’s red carpet has eclipsed the event itself in many ways. On the contrary, the CFDA awards have no televised red carpet, and much less fanfare. Its sole purpose is to celebrate American fashion. If you didn’t know it was happening, you could easily miss it.

The event is usually filled with fashion insiders—designers that are both a part of the CFDA or nominated for an award, models, stylists, editors, buyers and those who are important in the industry. Celebrities are also often in attendance, especially those who are known for their style. For that reason, Kendall Jenner’s attendance at the awards was not surprising, though she’s been in the industry for quite a while now, she doesn’t seem to have fostered quite the same relationship with New York designers as some of her contemporaries. Notably, this is only her second time attending the awards (for the sake of comparison, Gigi Hadid, who has been in the industry for a comparable amount of time has attended twice as many times).

Kendall in Khaite.

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Now, Kylie Jenner has quite the closet. She commissioned custom Jean Paul Gaultier by Glenn Martens for her Halloween costume, she was all over Paris Fashion Week this year, and she often wears pieces just days after they walk the runway (sometimes even as they walk the runway). But, as Iris Apfel says, “Being stylish and being fashionable are two entirely different things. You can easily buy your way into being fashionable. Style, I think, is in your DNA.” Kylie is undeniably fashionable, but she hasn’t quite reached the level of having her style mentioned in the same breath as, say, a Chlöe Sevigny, Bella Hadid, and recently Julia Fox. Beauty has always been her thing (as evidenced by her billion dollar cosmetics brand).

Kylie in vintage Mugler.

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Possibly the most surprising attendee at the awards was Khloé, who always seems just a step behind her sisters. She was the last (with Kourtney) to attend the Met Gala, and even at the CFDA Awards her attendance seemed...confusing. That being said, her choice to support LaQuan Smith, a nominee at the event, was a good one, and proves she’s leaning further into her high fashion game.

Most likely, they were all there in support of Kim, who was honored with the inaugural Amazon Fashion Innovation Award for her brand, Skims, alongside her partners Jens and Emm Grede. A betting man would guess Kim got unlimited invites, or at least enough to bring her family, hence their heavy attendance. Kim, herself, has a good relationship with the CFDA, as this is the second time she took home an inaugural award, having been honored with the Influencer Award back in 2018 (she brought Kourtney that time). Kim is a part of the fashion zeitgeist, that cannot be denied, and she’s taking her sisters along for the ride. So yes, their attendance at the awards is definitely notable, and it’s another sign that the Kardashians, as an entire family unit, are now part of the fashion sect in at least same way. As for if they’ll return when one of their own isn’t being honored, we will have to wait until next year to see.

Khloé in LaQuan Smith and Kim in Dolce & Gabbana.

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