They keep having to create new awards for Geoffrey Beene. Yesterday at the Four Seasons restaurant in New York, Beene was given his seventh Coty American Fashion Critics Award, the most ever received by one designer. Like another cluster added to a battle ribbon, this was Beene's fourth citation since winning the Hall of Fame Award some years ago.
Designers Norma Kamali and Ronald Shamask were given their first Coty awards (and Winnie statuettes) for women's designs, and Perry Ellis moved up to the Hall of Fame for women's clothes and picked up his first Coty menswear award as well. Ralph Lauren got a second award for his menswear designs.
Those receiving special awards included jewelry designer Robert Lee Morris, the manufacturer Hot Sox and L.L. Bean, the Maine-based clothing and outdoor life gear manufacturer. It was the second time L.L. Bean received a special Coty award.
In past years the Coty awards dinner has been an important fund-raiser for the Fashion Institute of Technology. In place of a gala dinner this year, a presentation luncheon was held, and Donald Flannery, president of Coty, announced a gift to FIT of $20,000 for its design laboratory and $5,000 to establish a Coty scholarship.