The Council of Fashion Designers of America held their annual CFDA Awards on Monday. The awards brought together a number of influential and iconic individuals from the fashion industry. Founded in 1981, the CFDA Awards “recognize the outstanding contributions made to American fashion in womenswear, menswear, accessories and emerging talent, as well as journalism, creative vision, personal style, positive change and lifetime achievement.”

This year’s awards saw the first ever Influencer Award, which was presented to reality star, Kim Kardashian West. Not surprisingly, the decision by the CFDA to honour Kim K was met with both praise and criticism.

With over 112 million Instagram followers, Kim K is not short of fans who look to her for fashion, beauty and style inspiration.

When accepting the award, Kim poked fun at herself: “I’m kind of shocked that I’m winning a fashion award when I’m naked most of the time.”

See the acceptance speech below:

Video Source: CFDA YT

The fashion industry is seemingly divided over the award. Many have praised the star stating that it was “well-deserved”, while others have stated that she was not a suitable candidate for the fashion award.

CFDA Board Member, Tommy Hilfiger reportedly said that “Kim is the most important and powerful influencer in the world. Her reach extends far beyond her own brands.”

“Everytime she wears, posts or talks about a fashion brand, there is an immediate and significant increase in both awareness and sales.”

However, according to the New York Post, one designer stated that “rewarding any fashion influencers is ridiculous.”

“The awards are supposed to be for designers. It defeats the purpose to be giving out all these extraneous awards that don’t mean anything.”

In terms of fashion influence, it can’t be denied that Kim has had notable influence over the clothes that high-street brands now design and sell to their customers.

However, nowadays society is infatuated with individuals such as Kim K who are famous for being famous and many brands are cashing in on this.

According to reports, CEO of the CFDA, Steven Kolb suggested that simply having Kim win the award would be beneficial for the awards ceremony: “By connecting to someone who has that great of influence it also brings more attention to what we’re doing…there’s great value in acknowledging her, but also for the event itself and the exposure it brings.”

Does this suggest that the awards ceremony was also wanting to cash in on Kim’s popularity?

In today’s digital world, influencers now have an immense power over which brands their followers buy into and which they don’t.

As social media users, we seem to value the word of influencers than we do brands.

So, is Kim K an “iconic” influencer?

What makes a good influencer?