Theophilio Throws an Electric Victory Party After Winning the CFDA American Emerging Designer of the Year Award

It was thrilling, really—the way Edvin Thompson burst through the doors of the Public Hotel’s Bar Chrystie to a group of friends and supporters. As soon as the designer appeared in his full red ensemble, camera lights flashed, phones were out, and thunderous cheering resonated throughout the bar. Conveniently, DJ Jojo queued Nicki Minaj’s “Moment 4 Life” at the time of his entrance. As the crowd began reciting the fitting lyrics about triumph in unison, Thompson raised his right arm up, showing off his new CFDA trophy. Even louder cheering followed. 

“I think it’s the reassurance many of us were looking for,” CaSandra Diggs, the president of the CFDA, tells Vogue amid the celebratory mayhem. “His win is a sign that the conversation is being had, and hopefully continues.” 

It was a good 15 to 20 minutes of Thompson greeting everybody there to celebrate. Pose for a photo here, handing out Champagne to another there. Friends flurried to congratulate him from all directions, and the gleaming smile on the winning designer never, not even for a moment, seemed to wane. As he continued to share hugs and his infectious smile with attendees, one thing grew clearer: his momentous win was about more than one person. Rather, it is an emblem of pride shared between the many who have supported Theophilio from day one. 

Before his arrival, the dimly lit Bar Chrystie had filled up with industry notables taking advantage of the calm before the storm. Brandon Blackwood and Roberto Johnson lounged around while those around him enjoyed the foamy tequila drinks circulating the venue. Antwaun Sargent chatted with Telsha Anderson. Kehlani was spotted feeling the hip-hop tune beating in the background. When asked how he felt about the number of people present and ready to celebrate this moment, Thompson simply responded, “community.” 

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