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Herrera is nominee for top fashion award

By Samantha Critchell

Associated Press

NEW YORK — Carolina Herrera, a stateswoman of the New York fashion scene, is being honored for her long career by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

"She is a lady of elegance," said CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg as she told a crowd of fashion insiders gathered Monday evening at the Rooftop Gardens at Rockefeller Center that Herrera would receive the group’s lifetime achievement award.

Von Furstenberg also announced that Mayor Michael Bloomberg will get the Board of Directors’ special tribute; Style.com executive editor Candy Pratts Price will receive the Eugenia Sheppard journalism prize; and Dries van Noten will receive the international designer award when CFDA holds its 26th annual awards ceremony on June 2 at the New York Public Library.

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The CFDAs are considered the Oscars of the fashion world and the event draws top celebrities to its red carpet, including Oprah Winfrey, Sarah Jessica Parker and Heidi Klum in recent years.

It was difficult to reach the Belgium-based van Noten to share the news, von Furstenberg said, because he is a very independent man — and a man who "doesn’t do e-mail."

Meanwhile, Calvin Klein’s Francisco Costa had to keep his nomination a secret: As a CFDA board member, he learned early in the day he was one of the choices as a top womenswear designer along with Marc Jacobs and Proenza Schouler’s Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough. But Costa had to hold his tongue, because he was the one opening the envelope to announce the nominees.

"I didn’t know how to say it," Costa told the Associated Press , "so I just said ‘me."’

Costa won the prize in 2006 and also was a nominee last year. "It’s still work, but I love what I do. This is very good icing."

The nominees for top menswear designer are Tom Ford, Thom Browne and Michael Bastian. Jacobs, Tory Burch and Michael Kors are the choices for best accessories designer.

"This is my fifth nomination, so I definitely know there is consistent love. But I’m always engaged and I’m ready to get married," Kors said with a laugh.

While Kors has not won in the accessories category, he won the menswear category in 2003 and womenswear in 1999.

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The CFDA also honors up-and-coming talent with Swarovski awards for emerging designers. The womenswear nominees are Kate and Laura Mulleavy for Rodarte, Thakoon Panichgul and Alexander Wang. Menswear nominees are Patrik Ervell, Tim Hamilton and Scott Sternberg for Band of Outsiders.

In the category of emerging accessories designers, the nominees are Philip Crangi, Justin Giunta for Subversive Jewelry and Joy Gryson.

This will mark the first year that the CFDA will name a scholarship winner, given to one student at a participating design school that the board believes could be the best womenswear designer of the next generation.

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