As most fashion designers find themselves all wrapped up in New York Fashion Week, Diane von Furstenberg is calling attention to life off the catwalk, debuting the DVF Awards. The veteran designer, philanthropist, and president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America will honor seven women who’ve worked for social justice across the globe, on issues ranging from sex trafficking to girls’ education to female entrepreneurship.
Click Here to View Our Gallery of DVF Award Winners and Nominees
The inaugural awards ceremony March 13 will highlight the impact of two international winners—Sadiqa Basiri Saleem of Afghanistan and Danielle Saint-Lot of Haiti—as well as a domestic winner to be selected by online voters at Facebook. Each winner will receive $50,000 to continue her work. “It’s about people who have survived, learned from their survival, and are leading from their survival,” von Furstenberg told The Daily Beast. The designer was heavily involved in the selection process, along with a board of directors that included Diane Sawyer and Maria Shriver. “I’m very sorry that I can only give one award,” von Furstenberg said of the five American nominees. “But…at least I can give exposure to five.”