Photographer Arthur Elgort, recipient of the 2011 CFDA Board of Directors' Special Tribute. Photo: Toby Shaw

Every year the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) honors a variety of fashion industry creative talent with awards in several areas, including womenswear, menswear and accessories. Nominees are selected by CFDA members in March and winners are announced at a gala event at NYC's Lincoln Center in early June. For this year's awards, StyleList decided to take a closer look at some of the rising talents and industry stalwarts that would most certainly be prudent to know.

While nominees such as Joseph Altuzarra, Prabal Gurung, Alejandro Ingelmo, Eddie Borgo, and Pamela Love might be lesser known to the wider public, they have already carved out a strong aesthetic and loyal following. 2011's two special honorees, fashion journalist Hilary Alexander and legendary photographer Arthur Elgort, have had an incredible impact on the industry through their written words and images.

Below, we present the career highlights thus far of each of the aforementioned individuals.

Joseph Altuzarra. Photo: Getty Images

Joseph Altuzarra
Nominated for the Swarovski Award for Womenswear, Joseph Altuzarra grew up in Paris and came to the U.S. to attend Swarthmore College, graduating with a B.A. in Art and Art History. His first gig out of college was an internship at Marc Jacobs but he quickly moved on to positions at Proenza Schouler and Givenchy. In Spring 2009 he launched his own eponymous line for the "modern professional woman," with an aesthetic that is a mix between French heritage and New York cutting edge style. He had a quick ascent, with his runway show considered to be one of the most coveted invites during New York Fashion Week. Altuzarra's styles have been featured in publications such as W, Vogue (US, Italian, French, China, Nippon, Russian, UK, and Spain editions), Glamour, Pop, T, and V magazines, amongst others.

Jewelry designer Pamela Love, 2011 CFDA Swarovski Award nominee for Accessories Designer of the Year. Photo: Skye Parrott

Pamela Love
"I am really thrilled and excited to be nominated this year. It's always a great experience!" exclaims Pamela Love, who is also up for the Swarovski Award for Accessory Design. Before founding her men and women's jewelry line for spring/summer 2009, Love, a lifelong New Yorker had a patchwork of creative endeavors. She studied film and art at New York University and spent some time working as a painting assistant, art director and stylist before finding her place in jewelry. Her label blossomed out of an interest in discovering and creating jewelry that suited her taste, which rages from a devotion to American Southwestern motifs to science, astronomy, astrology, alchemy, and mysticism. The Pamela Love collection can be found across four continents and has received praise for her collaborations with friends and fellow designers Eddie Borgo, Marchesa, Yigal Azrouel, Zac Posen, and Alice + Olivia, in addition to being featured in InStyle, Nylon, Lucky, and international editions of Vogue, Elle, and Harper's Bazaar.

Prabal Gurung. Photo: Getty Images

Prabal Gurung
Also up for the Swarovski Award for Womenswear (for the second year in a row), Prabal Gurung made his debut with his eponymous label in Fall 2009. His design ethos is centered around high-definition, precise tailoring and structure paired with elegant color-blocking and luxe fabrications. Born in Singapore and raised in Kathmandu, Gurung studied at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in New Delhi, and after apprenticing, assisting and styling in several countries he came to NYC to further his studies at Parsons School of Design while interning at Donna Karan. After spending time at Cynthia Rowley and as Design Director at Bill Blass, Gurung struck out on his own, and has earned prestige through press clips that include various Vogue editions (U.S., UK, Korea, India, China), Harper's Bazaar, WWD, and more, all the while dressing Michelle Obama, Demi Moore, and Oprah Winfrey. His fashion award accolades to date include the 2010 Ecco Domani Fashion Fund Award, the 2010 CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund Award, and a 2010-2012 CFDA Fashion Incubator recipient.

Shoe designer Alejandro Ingelmo, 2011 CFDA Swarovski Award nominee for Accessories Designer of the Year. Photo: Alejandro Ingelmo

Alejandro Ingelmo
"I couldn't be more surprised, thrilled, and honored to be nominated," Ingelmo tells StyleList. "The CFDA has done so much, starting with my CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund nomination in 2008, my nomination in 2009 and now again this year, in helping bolster my career." The Swarovski Award for Accessory Design nominee is a fourth generation shoemaker from Miami, Florida, who started his womens footwear label in 2006, and added mens in 2007. His designs start wtih classic silhouettes that develop into modern statements via cutting edge and futuristic fabrications finished off with the requisite sizzling sex appeal. With a international presence via well-established retailers and magazine features Ingelmo is on his way to becoming a household name. He opened his SoHo boutique in 2010, and counts a strong celebrity base amongst his customers, including Jay Z, Justin Timberlake, and Sienna Miller.

Jewelry designer Eddie Borgo, 2011 CFDA Swarovski Award nominee for Accessories Designer of the Year. Photo: Stewart Shining

Eddie Borgo
"It's such an honor to be nominated for the Swarovski Accessory Design Award as it reflects the opinions of the industry and my peers," Eddie Borgo explained to StyleList, adding, "It's incredibly gratifying." The jewelry designer finds inspiration in a mix of cultures and influences, meshing high and low elements such as luxe materials, industrial pieces and fetish objects with concepts from costume history, rock and roll, and a pervading New York City vibe. In college, Borgo attended classes while working at Barneys New York and Donna Karan. He began to create unique pieces for stylists in 2002, and by 2008 he made the jewelry for Phillip Lim's runway show while developing his own label. Now in its sixth season, the Eddie Borgo collection has found a home amongst global retailers and magazines, in addition to having collaborated with Marchesa, Jason Wu, Joseph Altuzarra, and Proenza Schouler.

Salma Hayek (L) and Hilary Alexander (R) during fashion week. Photo: Getty Images

Hilary Alexander
As the recipient of the CFDA's 2011 Media Award, Hilary Alexander has proven over the years that she can easily translate her fashion expertise to any media-related entity that may come her way. From BBC documentaries to reality TV show competitions, radio discussions, print online, and even Twitter, Alexander's reporting style brings the latest fashion news, concerns, looks, trends, and style advice in a manner that can be assertive, always fair, and certainly approachable. Arriving at the UK's Telegraph in 1985 and helming it's fashion department for almost a decade, the journalist and critic plans to retire later this year. But something tells us her industry presence won't disappear anytime soon. She has been crowned the British Fashion Journalist of the Year twice (in 1998 and 2003), and, in 2007, received an honorary Doctorate in design from Nottingham Trent University for her devotion to mentoring students and fostering young design talent throughout her career.

Arthur Elgort
With a photography career spanning four decades and imagery that is at once iconic and defining for the fashion industry and it's major players, it's no wonder that the CFDA Board of Directors' Special Tribute this year goes to Arthur Elgort. The born-and-bred New Yorker kick-started his career in 1971 at British Vogue and defined a new modern vision for fashion photography that allowed his subjects free movement, the cast of natural light, and minimal makeup. He acknowledges that his encouragement of motion while behind the lens results from his love of music and dance, in particular jazz and ballet, and has caught Kate Moss, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, and Linda Evangelista in action. He told StyleList that he absolutely loves working with Grace Coddington, and his favorite shoot was for Vogue in 1979, involving traveling to China with Nancy Kissinger; "It was very special in those days because no one was allowed to go to China from the US," he reminisces. The first stop oversees for Elgort and Kissinger was in Japan to drop off her husband, Henry, for a conference, and then they continued on to China for the shoot. With numerous international exhibits and work straddling editorial, advertising, film, and literature, Elgort is a true fashion photography pioneer, and is currently working on an extensive anthology of his career comprised of his personal and fashion photography.