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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 awards presentation has become an occasion for the theatrical design community to come together to honor its own.

TDF/Irene Sharaff Awards


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TDF/Irene Sharaff Award for Sustained Excellence in Costume Design

Formerly known as the Lifetime Achievement Award in Costume Design and first presented to the legendary Irene Sharaff in 1993, this honor is bestowed upon a designer who has achieved great distinction and whose work embodies the qualities of excellence represented in Ms. Sharaff's lifework: 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 awardee’s achievement may stem from work for the theatre, opera, dance, film or—as was true of Ms. Sharaff—from all of them together.


TDF/Kitty Leech Ascending Artist Award

Formerly known as the Young Master Award and named in honor of the late designer and previous Sharaff Awards Voting Committee Chair Kitty Leech, this award is presented to a designer whose promising work has come to fruition. With this honor, we recognize Kitty Leech's and Irene Sharaff’s wish to see designers encouraged as they achieve 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. Honorees include assistant and associate costume designers, costume shops that transform sketches into glorious and breathtaking realities, teachers who dedicate their lives to turning raw talent into accomplished designers, and authors who create essential 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 the artists who 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 can learn and grow, standing on the shoulders of the giants who came before.


The Robert L. B. Tobin Award for Sustained Excellence in Theatrical Design

Formerly known as the Lifetime Achievement Award in Theatrical Design, this award honors its namesake and symbolizes Tobin's passion, respect and esteem for the art of theatrical design. Recipients have achieved distinction in theatrical design and their work serves as an example of the beauty, feeling and empathy that's created through true mastery of this art.


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


TDF/Irene Sharaff Award Past Winners

2024 Recipients

Sustained Excellence in Costume Design: Ann Hould-Ward
Kitty Leech Ascending Artist Award: Machine Dazzle
Artisan Award: Tricorne, Inc.
Memorial Tribute: Caroline F. Siedle
The Robert L. B. Tobin Award for Sustained Excellence in Theatrical Design: Richard Hudson


2022 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement Award: Fred Voelpel
Young Master Award: Dede Ayite
Artisan Award: Michael Curry
Memorial Tribute: Caroline F. Siedle
The Robert L. B. Tobin Award: Eugene Lee


2019 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement Award: Susan Hilferty
Young Master Award: Miodrag Guberinic
Artisan Award: Rodney Gordon
Memorial Tribute: Irene Sharaff
The Robert L. B. Tobin Award: John Lee Beatty

2019 Recap:

2019 Rapid Fire:


2018 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement Award: Holly Hynes
Young Master Award: Travis Halsey
Artisan Award: Fritz Masten
Memorial Tribute: Karinska
The Robert L. B. Tobin Award: Zack Brown

2018 Recap:

2017 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement Award: Catherine Zuber
Young Master Award: Paloma Young
Artisan Award: Ernest Smith
Memorial Tribute: Motley – Margaret Harris, Sophie Harris and Elizabeth Montgomery Wilmot
The Robert L. B. Tobin Award: Tony Straiges


2016 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement Award: Susan Tsu
Young Master Award: Suttirat Anne Larlarb
Artisan Award: Liz Covey & Rosemary Ingham
Memorial Tribute: Dorothy Jeakins
The Robert L. B. Tobin Award: Michael Yeargan


2015 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement Award: Jess Goldstein
Young Master Award: Brian Hemesath
Artisan Award: Gino Bifulco – T.O. Dey Shoes
Memorial Tribute: Raoul Pene Du Bois
The Robert L. B. Tobin Award: Douglas W. Schmidt


2014 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement Award: Deborah M. Dryden
Young Master Award: Linda Cho
Artisan Award: Marianne Krostyne
Memorial Tribute: Sam Kirkpatrick
The Robert L. B. Tobin Award: Marjorie Bradley Kellogg


2013 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement Award: David Toser
Young Master Award: Daniel Lawson
Artisan Award: Lawrence Vrba
Memorial Tribute: Martin Pakledinaz
The Robert L. B. Tobin Award: Desmond Heeley


2012 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement Award: Carrie Robbins
Young Master Award: Mathew LeFebvre
Artisan Award: Lynn Pecktal
Memorial Tribute: William and Jean Eckart
The Robert L. B. Tobin Award: Lloyd Burlingame

2011 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement Award: Lewis Brown
Young Master Award: Olivera Gajic
Artisan Award: Michael-Jon Costumes
Memorial Tribute: Charles LeMaire
The Robert L. B. Tobin Award: Robin Wagner


2010 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement Award: Albert Wolsky
Young Master Award: Alejo Vietti
Artisan Award: John David Ridge
Memorial Tribute: Randy Barceló
The Robert L. B. Tobin Award: Ming Cho Lee


2009 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement Award: William Ivey Long
Young Master Award: Clint Ramos
Artisan Award: Sally Ann Parsons
Memorial Tribute: Irene Sharaff
The Robert L. B. Tobin Award: Bob Crowley


2008 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement Award: Robert Fletcher
Young Master Award: Fabio Toblini
Artisan Award: Bessie Nelson
Memorial Tribute: Tanya Moiseiwitsch
The Robert L. B. Tobin Award: John Conklin


2007 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement Award: Bob Mackie
Young Master Award: Murell Horton
Artisan Award: Kermit Love
Memorial Tribute: Rouben Ter-Arutunian
The Robert L. B. Tobin Award: Santo Loquasto


2006 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement Award: Lester Polakov
Young Master Award: Emilio Sosa
Artisan Award: Martin Izquierdo
Memorial Tribute: Lila De Nobili
The Robert L. B. Tobin Award: Franco Zeffirelli


2005 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement: Florence Klotz
Memorial Tribute: Oliver Messel
Artisan Award: Vincent Zullo
Young Master Award: David Zinn
The Robert L. B. Tobin Award: Robert O'Hearn


2004 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement: Anthony Powell
Memorial Tribute: Lemuel Ayers
Artisan Award: Nino Novellino
Young Master Award: Mirena Rada
The Robert L. B. Tobin Award: Tony Walton


2003 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement: Jose Varona
Memorial Tribute: Ruth Morley
Artisan Award: Maria Brizzi/Grace Costumes, Inc.
Young Master Award: Anita Yavich


2002 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement:Theoni V. Aldredge
Memorial Tribute: Cecil Beaton
Artisan Award: Paul Huntley
Young Master Award: Jonathan Bixby & Gregory Gale


2001 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement: Freddy Wittop
Memorial Tribute: Aline Bernstein
Artisan Award: Barbara Matera
Young Master Award: Constance Hoffman


2000 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement: Ann Roth
Memorial Tribute: Lucinda Ballard
Artisan Award: Woody Shelp
Young Master Award: Robert Perdziola


1999 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement: Willa Kim
Memorial Tribute: Raoul Pene du Bois
Artisan Award: Ray Diffen
Young Master Award: Suzy Benzinger


1998 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement: Jane Greenwood
Young Master Award: Martin Pakledinaz


1997 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement: Patricia Zipprodt
Young Master Award: Paul Tazewell


1996 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement: Alvin Colt
Lifetime Achievement: Miles White
Young Master Award: Toni-Leslie James


1994 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement: Desmond Heeley
Young Master Award: Gregg Barnes


1993 Recipients

Lifetime Achievement: Irene Sharaff

About Irene Sharaff: