By  on June 24, 2008

The 25 nominees for the 33rd annual Dallas Fashion Awards represent a diversity of styles, but all have one thing in common: They know that taking home the DFA's silver Femme trophy can translate into a powerful marketing tool and potentially lead to increased sales.

The key is that winners are chosen by a vote of retailers across the U.S. who shop at FashionCenterDallas, part of the Dallas Market Center at the World Trade Center in Dallas. The awards are based on design innovation, quality workmanship and retail performance, factors that are more important than ever, given the tough economy.

A DFA nomination communicates to retailers that a brand is solid and profitable, and vendors are eager to get that point across.

"We promote our DFA trophy in e-mails, showroom correspondence, press kits and in our showrooms during market, including our New York showroom and even to the MAGIC show in Las Vegas. This award is given by stores, and that's a powerful feather in our cap," said Peter Katz, national sales manager for accessories vendor Sonda Roberts and SR Squared.

The brand won a DFA in 2006. Katz also is a principal at accessories showroom Rhoda Katz at FashionCenterDallas. Sondra Roberts is nominated for a DFA this year in the accessories category.

Brad Hughes, whose namesake multiline showroom at FCD has 2 lines nominated for DFAs — Marc Bouwer Glamit for after 5 and Andy Thê-Anh for bridge/designer — concurred.

"Being nominated for a Dallas Fashion Award carries a lot of meaning as it's coming from a vote of the retailers," he said. "It means that the brand is performing and helping stores to be profitable."

Carol Ferrell, a principal at multiline apparel showroom Ferrell and Kramer at FCD, carries the Debra de Roo casual apparel brand that's nominated for a DFA in the modernwear category. "Yes, the nomination definitely draws traffic and business," added Ferrell. "We promote it with banners, e-mails and other marketing materials to stores."

Laura Young, president of sales and marketing at Brighton, an accessories company that's previously won five DFA trophies and is nominated again this year, said helping retailers be profitable is a main goal of Brighton. "Being nominated and winning is...based on retail performance along with design innovation and quality workmanship."This year's Dallas Fashion Award winners will be announced Oct. 25 at an awards gala in The Grand Pavilion at the Trade Mart, also part of the Dallas Market Center and located next to FashionCenterDallas.

Retailers can cast their DFA votes for each category online at dallasmarketcenter.com or during the upcoming apparel and accessories market that runs Aug. 14 to 17.

The Dallas Fashion Awards is the oldest retailer-chosen awards program in the U.S. The finalists are nominated by a committee comprising fashion press and industry experts.

Each year, a non-competitive DFA for Fashion Excellence is given to an industry icon, designer, retailer or media outlet, though the announcement of this year's Fashion Excellence Award won't be made until August. Past winners have included James Galanos, Carmen Marc Valvo and Neiman Marcus.

Other non-competitive DFAs, such as the Rising Star Award, Personal Style Award and Honorary Style Award, are given when appropriate, though not always on an annual basis.

Past Rising Star winners include Derek Lam and Phillip Lim, while previous Personal Style winners include Joan Rivers and Jane Seymour. Honorary Style awards have been given to Mary Tyler Moore and Raquel Welch.

The Dallas Market Center is the world's largest wholesale merchandise resource with more than 50 markets each year attended by more than 200,000 retail buyers from across the world. The DMC rings up more than $8 billion a year in wholesale transactions.The 25 nominees for the 33rd annual Dallas Fashion Awards represent a diversity of styles, but all have one thing in common: They know that taking home the DFA's silver Femme trophy can translate into a powerful marketing tool and potentially lead to increased sales.

The key is that winners are chosen by a vote of retailers across the U.S. who shop at FashionCenterDallas, part of the Dallas Market Center at the World Trade Center in Dallas. The awards are based on design innovation, quality workmanship and retail performance, factors that are more important than ever, given the tough economy.

A DFA nomination communicates to retailers that a brand is solid and profitable, and vendors are eager to get that point across.

"We promote our DFA trophy in e-mails, showroom correspondence, press kits and in our showrooms during market, including our New York showroom and even to the MAGIC show in Las Vegas. This award is given by stores, and that's a powerful feather in our cap," said Peter Katz, national sales manager for accessories vendor Sonda Roberts and SR Squared.The brand won a DFA in 2006. Katz also is a principal at accessories showroom Rhoda Katz at FashionCenterDallas. Sondra Roberts is nominated for a DFA this year in the accessories category.

Brad Hughes, whose namesake multiline showroom at FCD has 2 lines nominated for DFAs — Marc Bouwer Glamit for after 5 and Andy Thê-Anh for bridge/designer — concurred.

"Being nominated for a Dallas Fashion Award carries a lot of meaning as it's coming from a vote of the retailers," he said. "It means that the brand is performing and helping stores to be profitable."

Carol Ferrell, a principal at multiline apparel showroom Ferrell and Kramer at FCD, carries the Debra de Roo casual apparel brand that's nominated for a DFA in the modernwear category. "Yes, the nomination definitely draws traffic and business," added Ferrell. "We promote it with banners, e-mails and other marketing materials to stores."

Laura Young, president of sales and marketing at Brighton, an accessories company that's previously won five DFA trophies and is nominated again this year, said helping retailers be profitable is a main goal of Brighton. "Being nominated and winning is...based on retail performance along with design innovation and quality workmanship."

This year's Dallas Fashion Award winners will be announced Oct. 25 at an awards gala in The Grand Pavilion at the Trade Mart, also part of the Dallas Market Center and located next to FashionCenterDallas.

Retailers can cast their DFA votes for each category online at dallasmarketcenter.com or during the upcoming apparel and accessories market that runs Aug. 14 to 17.

The Dallas Fashion Awards is the oldest retailer-chosen awards program in the U.S. The finalists are nominated by a committee comprising fashion press and industry experts.

Each year, a non-competitive DFA for Fashion Excellence is given to an industry icon, designer, retailer or media outlet, though the announcement of this year's Fashion Excellence Award won't be made until August. Past winners have included James Galanos, Carmen Marc Valvo and Neiman Marcus.

Other non-competitive DFAs, such as the Rising Star Award, Personal Style Award and Honorary Style Award, are given when appropriate, though not always on an annual basis.Past Rising Star winners include Derek Lam and Phillip Lim, while previous Personal Style winners include Joan Rivers and Jane Seymour. Honorary Style awards have been given to Mary Tyler Moore and Raquel Welch.

The Dallas Market Center is the world's largest wholesale merchandise resource with more than 50 markets each year attended by more than 200,000 retail buyers from across the world. The DMC rings up more than $8 billion a year in wholesale transactions.

PHOTOS BY PASHA ANTONOV; MODEL: HOLLY/WILHELMINA; HAIR BY DARIA WRIGHT/DARIAWRIGHT.COM; MAKEUP BY BRYAN LYNDE/RJ BENNETT REPRESENTS; FASHION ASSISTANT: KIYANNA STEWART; STYLED BY COURT WILLIAMS

The following are the nominees in each of the categories for the 33rd Annual Dallas Fashion Awards.

Accessories
Big Buddha
Brighton
Sondra Roberts

Jewelry
Crislu
Devon Leigh
Sorrelli

After 5
Badgley Mischka
Mandalay
Marc Bouwer Glamit

ModernWear
600 West
debra deRoo
Lynn Ritchie
Nic + Zoe

Casual Contemporary
Ed Hardy
Lucky Brand
Taka

Contemporary
Hype
Kensie
Voom by Joy Han

Bridge/Designer
Andy Thê-Anh
Apriori
Zelda

Childrenswear
Baby Nay
Florence Eiseman
ZaZa Couture

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