Pat McGrath Becomes First Makeup Artist To Receive A CFDA Fashion Award

The CFDA has awarded Pat McGrath the CFDA Founder’s Award. The legendary number one makeup artist in the world and creative force behind Pat McGrath Labs, countless iconic runway shows, breakthrough advertising campaigns for the most prestigious fashion houses, and groundbreaking editorial, will be the first make-up artist to receive the CFDA Fashion Award.

The Founder’s Award was established in memory of CFDA founder Eleanor Lambert and is awarded to a person for their unique contribution to the world of fashion and/or deserving of industry recognition. Lambert, who founded the CFDA in 1962, was a pioneer in bringing American fashion and fashion designers to their present international stature.

“Pat is the first make-up artist to receive a CFDA Fashion Award. By bestowing upon her the prestigious Founder’s Award in honor of Eleanor Lambert, the CFDA is putting a spotlight on the behind-the-scenes talent that is so critical to the creative process,” says Steven Kolb, President and CEO of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Pat McGrath’s arrival onto the fashion scene in the 90s began with a fateful introduction to the renowned photographer, Steven Meisel, by supermodel Amber Valletta, who will present this year’s award to Pat along with Karen Elson. This introduction would lead to a longstanding personal and professional relationship that continues to this day – Meisel rarely shoots without McGrath. McGrath’s mastery and incomparable vision have transformed the beauty industry, raising the bar to a level of luxury, quality, and artistry never before seen. She pioneered the trend for dewy skin in the 90s, introduced bold color into the everyday makeup palette, and experimented with unconventional materials like gemstones, feathers, fabric, and even gold splinters. The results were both eclectic and electrifying. She has reimagined the bold eyebrow, matte skin, and endless details that define beauty. Pat McGrath defines beauty. 

In recognition of all her achievements, Pat was awarded an MBE, Member of the Order of the British Empire, by HM Queen Elizabeth II, for her services to the fashion and beauty industry.  American Vogue named McGrath, “The most influential make-up artist in the world.” CNN voted her “one of the most influential and powerful people in fashion,” and The Wall Street Journal voted McGrath, “The Fashion Innovator of the Year” in 2013.

Past recipients of the Founder’s Award have included Donna Karan, Millard “Mickey” Drexler, Bethann Hardison, Oscar de la Renta, Andrew Rosen, Hal Rubenstein, Tonne Goodman, and more.


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