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The Daily Dish Project Runway

Brandon Maxwell Accepts AAFA Designer of the Year Award with a Touching Speech

The Bravo's Project Runway judge dedicated his award to every NYC designer "who has gotten up every day during the last six months with hope in their heart and determination."

By Chantel Morel
Brandom Maxwell Fashion Award

Days after celebrating his five-year anniversary of being in the fashion industry and his 36th birthday, Bravo’s Project Runway judge Brandon Maxwell, received quite an honor. On September 23, the accomplished designer was presented with the Designer of the Year award at the American Apparel & Footwear Association's 2020 American Image Awards. 

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Even though the ceremony had to be held virtually due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Brandon still made a heartfelt and powerful acceptance speech via video. 

"Nothing like getting an award that says Designer of the Year delivered to your house after you've been in your pajamas sitting in the same room for six months wondering where your life is going. So thank you so much to the American Apparel & Footwear Association and to the American Image Awards for this incredible honor. It came right on a day when I needed it the most, and I'm really grateful to have received it," he shared. 

Brandon continued by touching on the difficult year the fashion industry has experienced and how the community's perseverance has inspired him. 

"This time has been wild and weird, but it has also amplified for me all of the things that I knew to be true about the industry that I love being in so much, which is that it's filled with not only creative people but incredible, strong people, who go to work every single day, fight through things that are hard, and bring beauty into the world. During this time we've not only seen our community bring beauty and joy to the world but also help so many people who need it — and it's made me incredibly proud to be a part of this New York fashion community."

Last, Brandon went on to thank his fellow designers and his support system. 

"I wake up every single day so grateful and excited to be part of this wonderful group of very talented people. I don't know why I have been chosen, but I am very grateful. And of course I want to thank you all. I want to thank my team, who has just practiced so much patience and love with me over the years and whom I owe everything to — my family and my friends. But mostly I really want to thank every single designer in New York City who has gotten up every day during the last six months with hope in their heart and determination, and gone and made work that has made us all feel great. I know that I am sitting here with this [award], but this is truly for every single one of you. I am, again, very proud to be your peer. So, thank you so much."

It was a night full of wins for Bravo. Bravo and Project Runway also took home the Fashion Maverick award at the ceremony. Vice President of Current Production at Bravo, Erica Forstadt, accepted the award on the network's behalf.

"On behalf of Bravo, it is an incredible honor to accept the Fashion Maverick Award from the American Apparel & Footwear Association for the Emmy-winning Project Runway. We created the show to showcase some of the best designers across the country along with their remarkable stories. Through Project Runway we strive to highlight the evolution of inclusive and diverse fashion. Whether it's through our designers, models, or innovative challenges, our goal has been to reflect the world around us in order to promote evolution in the fashion industry," Forstadt shared. 

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