Byline: Holly Haber
DALLAS — The International Apparel Mart here has selected the Emanuel/Emanuel Ungaro bridge collection as the winner of its Rising Star Award and also named the 24 finalists in its annual Dallas Fashion Awards competition.
The Mart also selected TV star Delta Burke to receive its Personal Style Award.
The Dallas Fashion Awards recognize companies that have excelled in both style and sales performance plus individuals who have made an impact on American fashion through their own style. This is the program’s 20th year.
The Mart doesn’t bestow a Rising Star Award every year, but this year it selected Emanuel to receive the honor because of the label’s rapid growth as a bridge resource, said Robbin Wells, vice president of marketing at the Dallas Market Center Co., which owns the Apparel Mart. A division of GFT USA Corp., Emanuel’s sales are expected to grow 40 percent this year to $65 million, according to Brigitte Devine, director of marketing for Emanuel. The collection was introduced specifically for the American market in July 1991.
Devine was unsure whether Emanuel Ungaro and his wife, Laura, would be able to accept the trophy personally at the Oct. 20 Dallas Fashion Awards ceremony here. If Ungaro is unable to attend, Ken Kaufman and Isaac Franco, the New York-based designers who create Emanuel in conjunction with Ungaro, will receive the award with Maura de Visscher, president of Emanuel.
Previous Rising Star honorees include Victor Alfaro in 1994, Mark Badgley and James Mischka in 1992 and Todd Oldham in 1991.
Burke was chosen for the Personal Style trophy for her fashion flair and because she’s entering the apparel industry with plus-size lines of jeans, dresses, suits, knitwear and swimwear that are due to begin shipping to stores in November under the label Delta Burke Design. The Personal Style trophy formerly was called a Celebrity award but was renamed this year.
The Mart also bestows a Fashion Excellence award annually but won’t announce that honoree until July. Past winners have included Richard Tyler for Anne Klein & Co. in 1994, Todd Oldham in 1993 and Arnold Scaasi in 1992.
The other Dallas Fashion Awards winners are determined by a vote of retailers. They are divided into eight categories that reflect the most important products for specialty stores, Wells explained.
“Obviously some categories are more profitable each year, and we change the categories to reflect the changes at retail,” she said.
Three finalists in each category were selected by a nominating committee of about 100 people — mostly specialty store buyers plus some fashion journalists and department store buyers.
The nominees include: Cynthia Rowley, Julie & Leonard and Kenar Dress for dresses; Anne Klein II, Laurel and PSI in designer women’s wear; David Dart, Democracy and Seattle Gear for contemporary apparel, and Buffalo Jeanswear, Central Falls and Ruff Hewn for denim.
Additional finalists are: Niteline, Rimini and Victoria Royal Ltd. in social dressing; Medalias by Foree Hunsicker, Perlina Handbags and Swarovski Jeweler’s Collection in accessories; Mossimo, Slimsuit and Sweet Cheeks for swimwear, and Cockadoodles by Roosters, Florence Eiseman and Spumoni for children’s wear.
At the end of June, the Mart will mail 30,000 ballots to buyers, who vote by mail or in person at the mart to determine the winners. They are expected to be announced Aug. 25 following the holiday and resort market week here.
Festivities for the winners begin Sept. 12 with a cocktail party in New York. They receive their trophies, a silver abstract form that is vaguely feminine, at an Oct. 20 evening ceremony in the Great Hall of the Mart. Another evening of celebration follows with a black-tie gala Oct. 21 to be held at a hotel in Dallas, as yet undetermined. The gala will benefit the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS.