By  on February 4, 2008

NEW YORK — Though most of the attention during New York Fashion Week is paid to women's wear, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and GQ celebrated men's designers in Midtown last week to help kick off The Best New Menswear Designers in America project, which aims to recognize and support rising stars of men's fashion.

Daiki Suzuki and Angelo Urrutia of Engineered Garments; Stefan Miljanic of Gilded Age, Obedient Sons' Swaim Hutson and Christina Hutson; Rag & Bone's David Neville and Marcus Wainwright; Spurr's Simon Spurr, and designer Steven Alan were nominated by GQ for participation in the project. A panel of judges including the CFDA's Steven Kolb, John Varvatos and Jim Nelson, GQ editor in chief, will next month pick one of the six designers or teams as the winner of a $50,000 cash prize and the chance to create a capsule collection for Levi's around its original 501 button-fly jeans and a mentoring initiative led by GQ, Levi's and Bloomingdale's. Additionally, an item or outfit from the winner's collection for Levi's will be featured in the September issue of GQ.

Those attending last Wednesday's event included Michael Kors, John Varvatos, Isaac Mizrahi, Johan Lindeberg, Michael Bastian, Thom Browne, Anna Zegna and André 3000, who launched his own men's wear line, Benjamin Bixby, last week.

"In America, men's wear has always taken a backseat to women's wear, and it's nice to see a lot of young talent coming up in America right now whether it's West Coast or New York. For me, as a designer, it's very stimulating to see that," said Varvatos of the event.

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