Coty Award

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The Coty American Fashion Critics' Awards (awarded 1943–1984) were created in 1942 by the cosmetics and perfume company Coty, Inc. to promote and celebrate American fashion, and encourage design during the Second World War.[1][2] In 1985, the Coty Awards were discontinued with the last presentation of the awards in September 1984;[3][4] the CFDA Awards fulfill a similar role. It was casually referred to as "fashion's Oscars" because it once held great importance within the fashion industry and the award ceremonies were glitzy galas.[5]


The Coty Awards were conceived and created by Coty, Inc. Executive Vice President, Jean Despres, founder of The Fragrance Foundation and FiFi Awards, and Grover Whalen (a member of the New York City Mayor's Committee, and president of the 1939 New York World's Fair). The fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert was employed to promote and produce the awards.[1][6]

The awards were given solely to designers based in America, unlike the Neiman Marcus Fashion Awards.[7] Until its discontinuation in 1985, the Coty Award was considered one of the most prestigious awards in the field of fashion. The awards were designed by Malvina Hoffman.[8] The womenswear awards are popularly known as Winnies; the menswear award which began in 1968 has no name.[2] Repeat awards were the Return Award and the Hall of Fame award. Special Awards were also awarded to designers in specialist fields.

The popularity of this award began to decline in the late 1970s due to perceived commercial interests by the parent company.[3] In 1979, designers Calvin Klein and Halston announced they would no longer accept the Winnie award.[3][5] The same year, in 1979, Coty released the Coty Awards make up kit in order to profit off of the awards ceremony, which was perceived by the fashion designers to have cheapened the event.[3][5] The newly founded Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) appeared more democratic in ideology and began to compete with the Coty Award by 1980 with the CFDA Awards.[3][5]

In June 1985, Donald Flannery, the senior vice-president of Pfizer, Inc., Coty's parent company, announced that since the awards had successfully brought America into the worldwide fashion scene, it was decided to discontinue them.[9][4]

Recipients of the award[edit]


Year Winnie Special Award(s) Additional citations
1943 Norman Norell Lilly Daché (millinery), John Frederics (millinery) Hattie Carnegie (fashion designer & retailer), Clare Potter (American sportswear), Charles Cooper, Mainbocher (American couture), Claire McCardell (American sportswear), Valentina (American couture).[1]
1944 Claire McCardell Phelps Associates (leather accessories), Sally Victor (millinery)
1945 Gilbert Adrian, Tina Leser, Emily Wilkens
1946 Omar Kiam (of Ben Reig), Vincent Monte-Sano, Clare Potter Ceil Chapman (party dresses), Helen Morgan (raincoats), Carolyn Schnurer (bathing suits), Wallace Mackey (play shoes), Morris Wolock (flat shoes, "shank's mare"), Brooke Cadwallader (scarves), Nina Wolf (jewelry) [10]
1947 Jacob H. Horwitz (junior fashions), Mark Mooring (couture design for Bergdorf Goodman), Nettie Rosenstein (high end wholesale), Adele Simpson (medium end wholesale) The awards of 1947 recognised the work of the four main branches of the fashion industry: bespoke high-end design, high end wholesale, mid-priced wholesale, and junior fashion.[11]
1948 Hattie Carnegie Joseph de Leo (furs), Esther Dorothy (furs), Maximilian (furs)
1949 Pauline Trigère David Evins (shoes), Toni Owen (American sportswear)


Year Winnie Special Award(s) Return Award(s) Hall of Fame Additional citations
1950 Charles James, Bonnie Cashin Mabel & Charles Julianelli (shoes), Nancy Melcher (lingerie)
1951 Jane Derby Anne Fogarty (prettiest dresses),[2] Vera Maxwell (American sportswear), Sylvia Pedlar (lingerie) Norman Norell, Pauline Trigère
1952 Ben Zuckerman, Ben Sommers (of Capezio) Karen Stark at Harvey Berin (concept of dressing), Sydney Wragge (concept of dressing)
1953 Tom Brigance Helen Lee (children's clothing), John Moore at Matty Talmack (evening wear)
1954 James Galanos Charles James (innovative cutting)
1955 Anne Klein, Jeanne Campbell, Herbert Kasper Adolfo (millinery)
1956 Luis Estevez, Sally Victor Gertrude & Robert Goldworm (knitwear) James Galanos Norman Norell
1957 Leslie Morris, Sydney Wragge Emeric Partos (furs)
1958 Arnold Scaasi Donald Brooks (influence on evening clothes), Jean Schlumberger (jewelry) Ben Zuckerman Claire McCardell (posthumous)
1959 James Galanos, Pauline Trigère


Year Winnie Special Award(s) Return Award(s) Hall of Fame Additional citations
1960 Ferdinando Sarmi, Jacques Tiffeau Rudi Gernreich (innovative body clothes), Sol Klein at Nettie Rosenstein (costume jewelry), Roxane of Samuel Winston (beaded evening wear)
1961 Bill Blass, Gustave Tassell Bonnie Cashin (deep-country clothes), Kenneth (leadership in hair-styling) Ben Zuckerman
1962 Donald Brooks Halston (millinery)
1963 Rudi Gernreich Arthur and Theodora Edelman (leather design), Betty Yokova of Neustadter Furs Inc. Bill Blass
1964 Geoffrey Beene David Webb (jewelry design) Jacques Tiffeau, Sylvia Pedlar (Return Special Award)
1965 Tzaims Luksus (fabric design), Pablo of Elizabeth Arden (leadership in make-up), Gertrude Seperack of Warner's (bodystockings and foundation garments) Anna Potov of Maximilian (furs), Sylvia de Gay (young fashion), Edie Gladstone (young fashion), Stan Herman (young fashion), Victor Joris (young fashion), Gayle Kirkpatrick (young fashion), Deanna Littell (young fashion), Leo Narducci (young fashion), Don Simonelli (young fashion), Bill Smith (young fashion) [12]
1966 Dominic at Matty Talmack Kenneth Jay Lane (costume jewelry) Rudi Gernreich, Geoffrey Beene
1967 Oscar de la Renta Herbert & Beth Levine (shoes) Donald Brooks Rudi Gernreich
1968 George Halley, Luba Marks Giorgio di Sant' Angelo (fantasy accessories and ethnic fashions) Bonnie Cashin, Oscar de la Renta
1969 Stan Herman, Victor Joris Adolfo (millinery), Halston (millinery), Julian Tomchin (fabric designs) Anne Klein


Year Winnie Menswear Award(s) Special Award(s) Return Award(s) Hall of Fame Additional citations
1970 Giorgio di Sant' Angelo, Chester Weinberg Ralph Lauren Will & Eileen Richardson of Up Tied (Tie-dyed fabrics), Steven Brody and Daniel Stoenescu of Cadoro (costume jewelry), Alexis Kirk (costume jewelry), Cliff Nicholson (costume jewelry), Marty Ruza (costume jewelry), Bill Smith (costume jewelry) Herbert Kasper Bill Blass [13]
1971 Halston, Betsey Johnson at Alley Cat Larry Kane of Raffles Wear John Kloss of Cira (lingerie), Nancy Knox (men's shoes), Levi Strauss & Co (worldwide fashion influence), Elsa Peretti (jewelry) Anne Klein Hall of Fame citation was Bill Blass.[14]
1972 John Anthony Robert Margolis of A. Smile Inc. (excitement in menswear), Alan Rosanes of Gordon Gregory Ltd. (excitement in menswear), Alexander Shields (excitement in menswear), Pinky Wolman & Dianne Beaudry of Flo Toronto (excitement in menswear) Dorothy Weatherford of Mountain Artisans (patchwork and quality) Halston Bonnie Cashin
1973 Stephen Burrows, Calvin Klein Piero Dimitri Clovis Ruffin (original young fashion), Joe Famolare (shoes), Don Kline (hats), Judith Leiber (handbags), Herbert & Beth Levine (shoes), Michael Moraux of Dubaux (jewelry), Celia Sebiri (jewelry) Oscar de la Renta
1974 Ralph Lauren Bill Kaiserman of Rafael,
Stephen Burrows (lingerie), Stan Herman (lingerie), John Kloss (lingerie), Fernando Sánchez (lingerie), Bill Tice (lingerie), Sal Cesarani (menswear), John Weitz (menswear), Aido Cipullo (male jewelry) Calvin Klein, Piero Dimitri (for menswear return award) Geoffrey Beene, Halston
1975 Carol Horn Chuck Howard & Peter Wrigley at Anne Klein Studio Bill Blass for Revillon America (fur design), Fernando Sanchez for Revillon America (fur design), Calvin Klein for Alixandre (fur design), Viola Sylbert for Alixandre (fur design), Monika Tilley for Elon (swimwear), Nancy Knox (leather menswear) Bill Kaiserman of Rafael (for menswear return award) Calvin Klein, Piero Dimitri (for menswear) Hall of Fame citation was Geoffrey Beene.[15]
1976 Mary McFadden Sal Cesarani American Sporting Gear (Sportswear (activewear)), Barbara Dulien (womenswear), Vicky Davis (men's neckwear), Lowell Judson (men's loungewear), Ronald Kolodzie (men's loungewear), Robert Schafter (men's loungewear) John Anthony, Ralph Lauren Herbert Kasper, Bill Kaiserman (for menswear)
1977 Stephen Burrows, Donna Karan & Louis Dell'Olio for Anne Klein Alexander Julian Ted Muehling (jewelry), Fernando Sanchez (lingerie) Ralph Lauren Hall of Fame citation was Geoffrey Beene(contribution to American Fashion)
1978 Bill Atkinson, Charles Suppon Robert Stock Joan & David Helpern (shoes and boots), AMF Head Sportswear Co. (outstanding contribution to activewear), Danskin Inc. (exercise and sports clothing) Mary McFadden Menswear Hall of Fame citation was Bill Kaiserman
1979 Perry Ellis Lee Wright Barry Kieselstein-Cord (jewelry), Gil Truedsson (shoes), Joan Vass (knitwear), Conrad Bell (men's furs) Alexander Julian (for menswear return award) Mary McFadden Hall of Fame citation was Geoffrey Beene, Halston, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren (for contributions to international status of American fashion).[16]


Year Winnie Menswear Award(s) Special Award(s) Return Award(s) Hall of Fame Additional citations
1980 Michaele Vollbracht Jhane Barnes Jeffrey Aronoff (handwoven fabrics), Stewart Richer for Reminiscence (retailers), Ron Chereskin (menswear)
1981 Calvin Klein, Perry Ellis, Geoffrey Beene Jhane Barnes, Alexander Julian, Ralph Lauren Barry Kieselstein-Cord (jewelry), Alex Mate & Lee Brooks (jewelry), Fernando Sánchez, Fabrice Simon (beaded evening wear), Hot Sox (hosiery), Robert Lee Morris (jewelry), Laura Pearson at Tijuca (knitwear), Andrew Fezza (menswear special award), Nancy Knox (menswear special award), Robert Lighton (menswear special award) After Beene, Klein and Lauren all rejected their awards, it was decided that all nominees would receive awards.[2][17]
1982 Adri Jeffrey Banks Susan Bennis & Warren Edwards (shoes), Jay Lord Hatters, Patricia Underwood (millinery), Ted Muehling (jewelry), Allen Veness (weaving and knitwear), Robert Comstock (men's outerwear), Zoran (men's separates) Norma Kamali, Donna Karan & Louis Dell'Olio (of Anne Klein), Sal Cesarani (for menswear return award) Geoffrey Beene (fifth Coty Award citation)
1983 Willi Smith Alan Flusser Perry Ellis (womenswear), Bill Blass, Alexander Julian, Carlos Falchi (handbags), Susan Horton, Selma, Jon & Barbara Weiser of Charivari Perry Ellis (for menswear return award) Norma Kamali
1984 Adrienne Vittadini Andrew Fezza Milena Canonero, Robin Kahn (jewelry), Barry Kieselstein-Cord (jewelry), Michelle & Janis Savitt (jewelry) Jhane Barnes (for menswear return award) Donna Karan & Louis Dell'Olio (of Anne Klein), Perry Ellis (for menswear)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Welters, Linda (2005). Twentieth-century American Fashion. Berg Publishers. p. 116. ISBN 978-1-84520-073-2.
  2. ^ a b c d McDowell, Colin (1984). McDowell's Directory of Twentieth Century Fashion. Frederick Muller. pp. 299–301. ISBN 0-584-11070-7.
  3. ^ a b c d e Blanco F, José; Doering, Mary D.; Hunt-Hurst, Patricia; Vaughan Lee, Heather (2015). Clothing and Fashion: American Fashion from Head to Toe (4 volumes): American Fashion from Head to Toe. ABC-CLIO. p. 96. ISBN 9781610693103.
  4. ^ a b "Coty Fashion Awards Discontinued". The New York Times (in American English). 1985-06-14. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  5. ^ a b c d Stangenes, Sharon (1985). "Requiem For Coty Awards: An Era Ends". (in American English). Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  6. ^ Mulvagh, Jane, Obituary of Eleanor Lambert[dead link], published in The Independent, October 9, 2003
  7. ^ McDowell, Colin (1984). McDowell's Directory of Twentieth Century Fashion. Frederick Muller. p. 302. ISBN 0-584-11070-7.
  8. ^ Roe, Dorothy (11 Sep 1952). "Fashion Critics Pick New Way to Serve Breakfast Oatmeal". The Progress (Clearfield, Pennsylvania). Associated Press. Retrieved 24 March 2015 – via
  9. ^ Coty Awards discontinued after 4 decades, Daily News Record, June 1985
  10. ^ Mara, Margaret (19 July 1946). "Omar Kiam, Former MGM Designer, gets Fashion Award". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. p. 9. Retrieved 27 March 2020 – via
  11. ^ Fegan, Lois (2 October 1947). "Dress Parade". The Harrisburg Telegraph. Retrieved 5 July 2015 – via
  12. ^ Staff writer (12 Oct 1965). "Coty Awards Presented". Tucson Daily Citizen (Tucson, Arizona). Retrieved 4 November 2015 – via
  13. ^ Morris, Bernadine (1970-06-19). "Coty Awards—the Winners". The New York Times (in American English). ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  14. ^ "Winners of Coty Awards". The New York Times (in American English). 1971-06-23. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  15. ^ Morris, Bernadine (1975-06-26). "Calvin Klein Wins His 3d Coty Prize". The New York Times (in American English). ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  16. ^ Hyde, Nina S. (1979-05-19). "Coty Designer Awards". Washington Post (in American English). ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2020-03-28.
  17. ^ Hyde, Nina (1981-09-26). "Beene Gets 7th Coty Award". Washington Post. Retrieved 2020-03-27.

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