Readers' Choice Award Nomination: Thom Browne
By Out.com Editors
Although he's one of America's most-celebrated fashion designers, Thom Browne was largely unknown to the majority of Americans until Michelle Obama wore one of his meticulously structured designs—a subtly checkered, navy silk coat, and dress—to her husband's inauguration earlier this year.
The recipient of the 2006 CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year Award and finalist for the National Design Award from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum for 2006, 2008, and 2009, Browne's designs have inspired a cult following for decades, especially for his willingness to take risks (his iconic short pant leg statement or dressing men in dresses or fetishistic interpretations of classic garb). Throughout it all, he has also remained active with a variety of causes important to him, including Jeffrey Fashion Cares and Housing Works, both organizations that raise money and awareness for HIV/AIDS-related communities in need.