Who are Vogue and the CFDA putting their money on?
Now in its 7th year, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund was created by the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Vogue magazine to help cultivate emerging industry talents, with a combination of a cash prize ($200,000 for the winner and $50,000 for the two runners up) and mentoring from industry leading lights. Previous stars spotted at this level include Sophie Theallet and Alexander Wang. Anna Wintour, editor in chief of Vogue magazine believes that the fund fulfills a vital role in an industry which demands such diverse and demanding skills from its young talent: “Fashion is probably the only industry in the world where its fledgling talents are expected to be as creatively adept at running a business as they are at design. Many, clearly, are not, and it’s through the support of the fund that these promising designers will be able to build a future for themselves—and for American fashion.”
Steven Kolb, executive director of the CFDA was evidently delighted with this year’s selection: “This year’s 10 finalists show a depth of creativity and talent that is inspiring to the industry as a whole. The designers’ compelling portfolios clearly demonstrate that the future of American fashion is expansive and bright.”
So who are the lucky ten? And what has got them noticed at this early stage in their careers?
1) Joseph Altuzarra- Womenswear designer who has made his mark with his sexy take on power dressing for successful women.
2) Christian Cota- His womenswear encapsulates ladylike chic. In 2007 style.com named Cota one of their ‘Ten Newcomers to Watch”.
3) Prabal Gurung – Gurung’s colourful background informs his popular and wearable eponymous line. Born in Kathmandu, Nepal he studied at Parsons in New York and the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Delhi. He has worked at Manish Arora, Cynthia Rowley and Bill Blass where he was appointed Design Director.
4) Robert Geller – Hamburg-born Robert Geller is a fashion forward menswear designer who cut his design teeth at Marc Jacobs.
5) Eddie Borgo – The designer of some of the coolest and most coveted jewellery around. From London to New York fashionable girls are desperate for his armour-like rings and fierce necklaces.
6) Oliver Helden and Paul Marlow of Loden Dager – Both Marc Jacobs alumni Marlow and Helden have developed a menswear label that embodies current notions of cool. In 2008 retail giant, Uniqlo, invited Loden Dager to create a capsule collection which sold worldwide.
7) Pamela Love – It girl jeweller with a powerful and personal gothic aesthetic. Her instantly recognisable designs are coveted all over the world and available in stockists from Los Angeles, to Stockholm, to Sydney to Tokyo.
8) Moss Lipow – A luxury eyewear specialist at a time when it has never been better to be in the market.
9) Gregory Parkinson – North of England-born Parkinson moved to LA in 1989 and started working for a sportswear company while simultaneously collaborating on several creative projects with stylists out of which he developed his line of signature dresses — recognisable for their hand-dyed layered look.
10) Billy Reid- Apparel and accessories label underpinned by an all-American sensibility and aesthetic, or what Reid calls “Southern-bred luxury”. Think: tough leather boots, classic knitwear and plenty of denim (he even designed a line for Levi’s).