Never say they don't know a good thing when they see it.
As if nominating her favored designers for their annual awards is not enough, the Council of Fashion Designers of America has named First Lady Michelle Obama the recipient of the Board of Directors Special Tribute for the attention she has drawn to the fashion industry.
Additionally, Thakoon Panichgul and Jason Wu, two designers who have created clothes for her, have been nominated along with Alexander Wang for the Swarovski Award for Womenswear which recognizes emerging talent. Narciso Rodriguez, another Obama favorite has been nominated for Womenswear designer of the year along with Marc Jacobs and Kate and Laura Mulleavy for Rodarte. We're surprised they didn't go ahead and nominate her unofficial stylist Ikram Goldman for a special retailer award, but perhaps that would have been too heavy handed even for this crowd (save it for next year). Jacobs is also nominated for Accessory Designer of the Year along with Vera Wang and Proenza Schouler's Jack McCullough and Lazaro Hernandez, as well as the already named recipient of the International Award for Louis Vuitton, ensuring that he will walk away with at least one trophy on June 15th.
Of course, under any other circumstances, Marc would probably be the central figure of the evening what with the possibility of winning three awards and all, but this year, he will have to defer to the First Lady, around whom the fashion industry has rallied after one of its worst seasons ever at retail. Assuming she appears to accept her award, it may actually be the first time many of these designers will have been able to meet their most famous client. Given Mrs. Obama's magical ability to attract customers to whatever she happens to wear at her appearances, we don't think any designer will mind ceding her some attention.
CFDA Announces Nominees for 2009 Awards (WWD)
A full list of CFDA nominees after the jump
WOMENSWEAR DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
Laura and Kate Mulleavy for Rodarte
MENSWEAR DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
Italo Zucchelli for Calvin Klein
Scott Sternberg for Band of Outsiders
ACCESSORY DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
Jack McCullough and Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler
SWAROVSKI AWARD FOR WOMENSWEAR
SWAROVSKI AWARD FOR MENSWEAR
SWAROVSKI AWARD FOR ACCESSORY DESIGN
Albertus Q. Swanepoel of Albertus Quartus
Justin Giunta for Subversive Jewelry
Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton
GEOFFREY BEENE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
EUGENIA SHEPPARD AWARD
WWD Editor In Chief Edward Nardoza
ELEANOR LAMBERT AWARD
GQ Creative Director Jim Moore
BOARD OF DIRECTOR'S SPECIAL TRIBUTE
First Lady Michelle Obama