NEW YORK — This year’s 10 finalists for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund are a varied group, from their home base to their designs and their dedication to the environment.
The finalists, who were revealed on Tuesday, are Richard Chai, Jason Wu, Alexander Wang, Irene Neuwirth, Albertus Q. Swanepoel of Albertus Quartus, Alejandro Ingelmo, Juan Carlos Obando, Swaim and Christina Hutson of Obedient Sons & Daughters, John Patrick of Organic and Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock of Vena Cava.
Founded by the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Vogue magazine five years ago, the fund offers emerging talents a cash prize and mentorship programs by industry leaders. The winner receives an award of as much as $200,000, and the two runners-up pocket up to $50,000 each. Previous winners were Rogan Gregory of Rogan, Doo-Ri Chung, Trovata and Proenza Schouler’s Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough.
The finalists were selected from among 100 candidates, after a two-hour meeting on Tuesday.
CFDA executive director Steven Kolb said the group is diverse, including designer collections, jewelry designers, a milliner and a label that focuses on sustainable fashions. Two of the finalists are Los Angeles-based.
“The mix of it was very varied,” Kolb said.
The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Selection Committee is to meet with each finalist this month to go through their collections and interview the designers. The committee consists of CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg, Kolb and associate director Lisa Smilor, Vogue’s Anna Wintour and Sally Singer, Barneys New York’s Julie Gilhart, Coach’s Reed Krakoff, Jeffrey Kalinsky of Jeffrey New York and Nordstrom, Gap’s Patrick Robinson and Theory’s Andrew Rosen.
The fund offers all finalists guidance through its growing Business Advisory Committee. The panel consists of Calvin Klein Inc.’s Tom Murry, Diane von Furstenberg’s Paula Sutter, Rockwood Management Group’s Josh Sparks, Cole Haan’s James Seuss, Liz Claiborne Inc.’s David McTague, Creative Design Studio’s Susan Davidson, Kellwood Co.’s George Sokolowski and Phillips Nizer’s Monte Engler.
The fund is sponsored by partner Gap, and underwriters Vogue, Barneys New York, Coach, Kellwood Co., Juicy Couture, Liz Claiborne Inc., Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom, Theory and L’Oréal Paris. American Express and Evgeny Lebedev join as underwriters this year.
The fund’s winner and runners-up will be announced at a gala dinner here on Nov. 17.
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