TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards

The TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards were founded in 1993 to pay tribute to the art of costume design. Since then, the annual award presentation has become an occasion for the costume design community to come together to honor its own.

TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement Award
First presented to the legendary Irene Sharaff in 1993, this award is bestowed upon a costume designer who, over the course of his or her career, has achieved great distinction and whose work embodies those qualities of excellence represented in the lifework of Irene Sharaff: a keen sense of color, a feeling for material and texture, an eye for shape and form, and a sure command of the craft. The designer’s achievement may be in theatre, opera, dance, or film, or, as was true of the work of Ms. Sharaff, for all the performing arts.

TDF/Kitty Leech Young Master Award
This award is presented to an early-career designer whose work has gone beyond mere beginner's promise and has entered a period of fruition. The award is given in recognition of Irene Sharaff’s wish to see young designers encouraged on their way to fully acknowledged success and excellence in the field.

TDF/Irene Sharaff Artisan Award
This award recognizes an individual or company that has made an outstanding supportive contribution in the field of costume technology. Among those honored by this award are assistant and associate costume designers, costume shops that take sketches and turn them into glorious and breathtaking realities, teachers who dedicate their lives to turning raw talent into accomplished designers, and authors who create the texts and trade publications without which designers could not function.

TDF/Irene Sharaff Memorial Tribute
The TDF/Irene Sharaff Memorial Tribute was created to recognize, celebrate, and remember those artists who have pioneered the art of costume design, setting the standard for years to come. TDF believes that in reliving and reviewing the body of work of these artists, a new generation of designers is able to learn and grow.

The Robert L. B. Tobin Award for Sustained Excellence in Theatrical Design
This award not only honors the name of Robert L. B. Tobin but also commemorates his passion, respect, and esteem for the art of theatrical design. The recipient of this award may be a designer working in any medium who has achieved a career so distinguished that his or her work becomes an example to all of the beauty, feeling and empathy that a designer creates through true mastery of his or her art.

The winners of the five awards are decided upon by the TDF/Irene Sharaff Voting Committee.