"Please have me back in another 25 years," Tom Ford joked last night when he accepted the CFDA's Lifetime Achievement Award. "I promise I'll wear a toupée and use a cane."
But even if Ford is one of the most influential designers of our time, he's not the only CFDA Award winner who can crack wise—or dispense sage wisdom. From Raf Simons' thoughts about style rules to Public School's musings on moving the needle, we've gathered some of the smartest things last night's winners have ever shared with us.
"We're not looking to relax. You always have to keep a certain level of edge in your work. That's how you move the needle and get things done."
"Working with the right people and building those relationships is something I've been able to do pretty well. My team is very important, and to me the people I work with aren't just people I hire, give budgets to, and expect things from. They're friends."
"Just like girls need to learn to be comfortable in heels before they go out in them for the first time, a man should try wearing a suit throughout a normal day. I do most things in a suit—and sometimes even in a tuxedo—and so I'm really comfortable in one."
"I don't think about rules. That was especially true when I started my brand. Lately I've started to change that. There was a period of time when I was making clothes that had zero relation to my own personal interests of dressing. Now I'm attracted to making my clothes work on different types of men."
—Details associate online style editor Justin Fenner.