Last night at a party at the Jane Hotel, the finalists for one of the most coveted prizes in American fashion was announced: the 400,000 dollar CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund prize. The event was hosted by legendary American fashion designer Carolina Herrera, while Joseph Altuzzara, Prabal Gurung, and Rag & Bone's David Neville revealed the finalists. The finalists include John Targon and Scott Studenberg of Baja East, Baldwin, Brother Vellies, Cadet, Chris Gelinas, Chromat, David Hart, Gypsy Sport, Jonathan Simkhai, and Thaddeus O’Neil.
The purpose of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund is to provide financial support and mentoring to up and coming American designers. It was created by the CFDA and Vogue with the purpose of supporting emerging American fashion talent, because it's no secret that trying to make it as a fashion designer isn't easy. To be eligible for the award a designer must have been in business for two years, be primarily based in the US, have garnered substantial editorial coverage and have orders from top retailers, have professional staff who can support their proposed business plans, and submit a 350-word biographical essay by May 1.
This is the 12th inaugural year for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion fund, and more money is at stake than ever. The top prize has been increased by 100,000 dollars, while the prize for the two runners-up has increased from 100,000 dollars each to 150,000 dollars each. Whether Ovation TV will continue the reality series "The Fashion Fund", which documents the contest, is still unclear, and CFDA has declined to comment.
Cadet,Gypsy Sport, David Hart among CFDA/Vogue fashion fund finalists
The selection committee this year includes Ken Downing, Neville and Marcus Wainwright, Mark Holgate, Jeffrey Kalinsky, Steven Kolb, Reed Krakoff, Jenna Lyons, Andrew Rosen, Diane von Furstenberg and Anna Wintour. In the next few weeks they will begin meeting with each finalist to judge their collections and studios. The finalists will then go on to participate in a design competition underwritten by Fossil, then they will head to Los Angeles for a fashion show at the Chateau Marmont.
The winners and runners-up will be announced at the a gala on November 2nd. The sponsor partner for this year's fund is Japanese fast-fashion brand Uniqlo, with underwriters including American Express, Carolina Herrera, Coach Foundation, Fossil, J.Crew, IMG Fashion, Kate Spade New York, Lane Bryant, MAC Cosmetics, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Reed Krakoff, Sycamore Partners, Theory, Tiffany & Co., Tumi, Westfield World Trade Center, and Vogue. Whoever is lucky enough to receive the official Anna Wintour stamp of approval will be ensured quite the career in the fashion industry.