The fashion world converged in style and splendor at the 39th Annual FGI Night of Stars Gala and Awards Ceremony, hosted by the Fashion Group International (FGI). Held at the iconic Plaza Hotel in New York City on October 17, 2023, this star-studded event brought together fashion, beauty, arts, culture, and entertainment industries, with the mission of FGI being the foundation of the evening, fostering talent for underserved fashion enthusiast who pursue careers in the industry.
The red carpet saw a chic crowd of fashion luminaries and celebrities making a grand entrance, ready for those individuals to receive awards. Among the winners were the legendary Whoopi Goldberg. Goldberg has been praised and ridiculed for her fashion over the years, but fortuitously crafted her style – wearing not so many Knicks jerseys as the early ‘90s – in comfortable silhouettes, and unisex, body-positive draping styled garments. That night, she wore a diamond necklace with images framed by precious stones. One side is of her and her late mother, and on the other side is Goldberg and her late brother whose birthday was on the night of the gala.
Goldberg was celebrated as a moderator of “The View,” a renowned actress, producer, writer, and EGOT winner, receiving the AMERICAN ICON Award. The award was presented by Gary Wassner, CEO of Hilldun Corporation, Chairman of Interluxe Holdings, a figure on Project Runway: Fashion Start-up, an FGI Advisory Board member, and is on the Fordham Fashion Law Advisory Board.
The gala marked a new chapter in FGI’s history, featuring a prestigious list of honorees, presenters, and an audience teeming with renowned personalities. The choice of The Plaza Hotel as the venue for the 39th Night of Stars Gala was a fitting tribute to FGI’s historical legacy and the stature of the event.
The Night of Stars commenced with opening remarks from key figures of FGI, including President and CEO Maryanne Grisz, Chairman of the Board James D’Adamo, and Fashion Group Foundation President Matthew Trent. Speeches were followed by the much-anticipated awards presentation, where the spotlight graced the recipients of the evening.
Eva Chen, Director of Fashion Partnerships at Instagram, presented Andrew Bolton, the Wendy Yu Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, who received The SUPERSTAR Award. The FASHION STAR Award went to Proenza Schouler Co-Founders and designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez.
Global music sensation and Co-Founder of the Maestro Cares Foundation, Marc Anthony, received the HUMANITARIAN Award, presented by renowned fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez. Gail Boyé, Executive Vice President of Innovation and Commercialization at Shiseido Americas, was honored with the BEAUTY INNOVATION Award.
The AGENT OF CHANGE Award was presented by Bethann Hardison and received by Antoine Phillips, a thought leader in fashion and culture, while veteran fashion designer Dennis Basso was bestowed with the LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT Award. Basso’s award was presented by businesswoman, writer, and television personality Martha Stewart, who charmed the crowd with what to expect that evening, delivering the first award of the night.
The AGENT OF CHANGE Award was accepted by Antoine Phillips, a thought leader in fashion and culture, while veteran fashion designer Dennis Basso was bestowed with the LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT Award. Basso’s award was presented by businesswoman, writer, and television personality Martha Stewart, who charmed the crowd with what to expect that evening, delivering the first award of the night.
Phillips notes his experience on the night, “I am truly delighted and honored to be awarded as the 2023 Agent of Change by the Fashion Group International at its 39th annual Night of Stars gala. For almost 100 years, the Fashion Group has been an invaluable beacon of knowledge and networking for fashion and beauty industry professionals around the world. I am proud to be recognized among the prestigious honorees of the Fashion Group’s Night of Stars.”
The crowd in attendance included distinguished honorees, celebrities, tastemakers, thought leaders, and leading executives from the fashion and entertainment industries. The guest list included fashion notables Candace Bushnell, Fern Mallis, and Ken Downing, and event and television hosts Ana Navarro, and Derek Warburton.
Fashion designers Carlos Campos, Elie Tahari, and Elizabeth Sutton, and influencers Olga Ferrara, Melissa Vale, Caroline Vazzana, and Katya Tolstova were also in attendance. Guest reflects the appeal and influence of Fashion Group International in the fashion world.
Maryanne Grisz, FGI President and CEO, eloquently summed up the essence of the night, “FGI Night of Stars is a celebration of extraordinary individuals in entertainment, fashion, beauty, and culture.” It’s an event that honors brilliance and raises crucial funds for Fashion Group International’s essential programs, including mentorship, education, and professional development.
Grisz continues, “We are grateful to all who, by attending our most important fundraiser of the year, support Fashion Group International’s mission to connect, provide resources, mentor emerging talent, and celebrate the fashion industry at every level.” With a scholarship recipient in attendance, the FGI essential program is referenced as the pillar of the organization.
Founded in 1930 by a group of seventeen women leaders, including Helena Rubenstein, known for her educational focus, former First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, Edith Head, and other renowned women who sought to build the fashion industry into what it is today. The 39th Annual FGI Night of Stars Gala and Awards Ceremony was a spectacular testament to the remarkable talent, innovation, and philanthropy that define the fashion industry for the next generation.