Glamour Magazine Honors Influential Women at 2012 Women of the Year Awards

November 13, 2012

Last night, Glamour magazine editor-in-chief Cindi Leivie, joined by Anna Wintour, Mary J. Blige, Ethan Hawke, Diane von Furstenberg, Pharell Williams, Nina Totenberg, Chelsea Handler, Katie Couric, Andy Cohen, Cynthia Nixon honored the most influential women of 2012, who are making strides in empowering and improving the human condition in architecture, law, fashion, music, sports, and women’s and children’s rights globally.    More than 1000 men, women and a few teens, attended the Women of the Year Awards held at the Carnegie Hall.

Being honored were comedienne Lena Dunham, singer and actress Selena Gomez, architect Zaha Hadid, activists Rory and Ethel Kennedy, photorapher Annie Leibovitz, J.Crew head Jenna Lyons, children’s rights activist Erin Merryn, women’s rights activist and film maker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Olympic gold medalists Gabby Douglas, Missy Franklin, Carli Lyod, Allyson Felix and Kayla Harrison.

Bravo TV’s Andy Cohen and journalist Katie Couric opened up the event and introduced Glamour’s Cindi Leive who welcomed guests and honorees.  Rapper and songwriter Pharrell Williams introduced Zaha Hadid and praised her for her groundbreaking architectural creations – 43 to date –  around the world, including the aquatic center for the 2012 London Olympics, Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati, the Chanel Mobile Art Pavilion which toured Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York, London, Paris, Moscow, the MAXXI – National Museum of the 21st Century Arts in Rome and the Guangzhou Opera House in China. Hadid has also designed footwear for Melissa shoes and a perfume bottle for Donna Karan’s latest perfume Woman.  Her accolades have included the 2004 Pritzker Prize, the  RIBA European Award, the Praemium Imperiale, and the Stirling Prize.

Vogueeditor-in-chief Anna Wintour introduced her long time friend and colleague Annie Leibovitz, the legendary photographer behind some of the most iconic images in both fashion and lifestyle in over 30 years.  She hailed Leibovitz as one of the greatest portrait photographers of all time.

Despite her rumored breakup with teen heartthrob Justin Beiber, a radiant Selena Gomez, also the cover girl for the Women of the Year issue, attended the event and was in smiles all evening.  She thanked her mother for sacrificing so much for her.  Her humbling speech had her a bit chocked up.  Actor Ethan Hawke introduced and honored her with the Independent Spirit Award for being the youngest person ever to serve as a UNICEF Ambassador.  Selena has traveled to countries in Africa and South And Central Americas to help children and raise awareness of hunger.

J.Crew president and creative director Jenna Lyons, credited for making the American brand a household name and making it a global success, was honored withthe Fashion Originalaward, presented by model Lauren Hutton.  Lyons told the crowd of her awkward beginning as the tallest kid in her class, often making clothes for herself – her first, a water mellon skirt that everyone wanted.  She thanked her mother for indulging her in her dreams, including paying for a photography class she flunked.  Lyons told the audience that “nothing worth having is easy and it sure doesn’t happen overnight.”  She started at J.Crew as an assistant to an assistant and working her way to the top.

Chelsea Handler introduced Girls creator Lena Denham, who in her blue Roksanda Ilincic walked on stage to receive her award only to take off her Brian Atwood Maniac pumps due to discomfort.  She left the audience in stitches saying she had dreamed of being compared to many of the women in the room but had not yet thought to be in a class with Selena Gomez.

Singer Mary J. Blige introduced the Olympians Olympic gold medalists Gabby Douglas, Missy Franklin, Carli Lyod, Allyson Felix and Kayla Harrison with the UnstoppOlympic gold medalists Gabby Douglas, Missy Franklin, Carli Lyod, Allyson Felix and Kayla Harrison with the Unstoppable Award for their tenacity and never give up attitude at the Olympics.  NPR’s Nina Totenberg presented the first Lifetime Achievement Award to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who for challenging the judicial system for equal rights for women since 1960.  Rory and Ethel Kennedy were honored for the Generation Award.

The tearjerker moment of the Glamour Women of the Year Awards came when designer Diane von Furstenberg introduced Academy Award winning film maker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, who shed light on women who’ve been victims of disfiguring acid attacks to the face.  Her work in preventing women from getting attacked with acid, causing permanent damage and disfigurement catapulted unto the world stage after her film Saving Face won the Academy Award for Best Documentary.

She brought one of the survivors with her, who worked tirelessly to get her husband thrown into prison for the assault.  Glamour is working with Project SAAVE (Stand Against Acid Violence) to provide medical care to acid-attack survivors. Sharmeen also showed a small clip giving thanks and encouragement to Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year-old education activist who was shot and seriously wounded last month by the Taliban for promoting the right for girls to attending school and shedding light on Taliban atrocities.  A school in Pakistan has been named for Malala and hundred of young girls have written her letters encouraging her to get well soon so she can get back to school.

The entire evening was uplifting and motivating. Glamour invited young girls of all ages to attend the event, a major kudos to the magazine for motivating girls to achieve their best and make a difference in their communities.

The Glamour Women of the Year issue is currently on newsstands.

Selena Gomez gives thanks to her mother.

Anna Wintour introduces Annie Leibovitz.

American Idol winner Phillip Phillips sings hit song Home.

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