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Finalists Named for 1st National Design Award

NEW YORK — It’s a three-way race for the first annual fashion prize at this fall’s National Design Awards.<br><br>The finalists are Tom Ford, Narciso Rodriguez and Dosa’s Christina Kim. The winner will be revealed Oct. 22 at a...

NEW YORK — It’s a three-way race for the first annual fashion prize at this fall’s National Design Awards.

The finalists are Tom Ford, Narciso Rodriguez and Dosa’s Christina Kim. The winner will be revealed Oct. 22 at a dinner at the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum here.

Besides the three nominees, other elements of fashion will be represented at the event. Coach is the official sponsor of the awards and co-chair of the event, which pulls in some of the bigger players in the design world. Reed Krakoff, president and chief creative director of Coach, was instrumental in adding the fashion category to the awards. Last year, he served as a juror and co-chair of the dinner and after-party.

Fern Mallis and Nike’s global creative director John Hoke served on the jury that selected the finalists in five categories as well as two other special award winners. I.M. Pei and Lella and design specialists Massimo Vignelli have been named lifetime winners.

This time around, Target will take home the corporate prize. In recent years, Target has made a more concerted effort to sponsor art exhibitions and arts-related programs. Showing how the lines between commerce and art continue to blur, Target’s Web site plugs a Target-sponsored design show at the Museum of Arts & Design at 40 West 53rd Street here “that explores the ingenuity, innovation and influence of American design.” The site also touts show participants Frank Gehry and Michael Graves, who have also designed products for Target. An image of a telephone Graves designed for Target is front-and-center on publicity posters for the exhibition.

Robyn Waters, a Target senior executive who has since left the firm, served on the jury for last year’s National Design Awards. But a spokeswoman for the NDA said, “The Cooper-Hewitt keeps the jury and nominations totally separate, so there is no one from Target on this year’s jury.”

Billie Tsien and Tod Williams, Architecture Research Office and Frederick Schwartz will be battling it out for the esteemed architecture award. Finalists have also been named for communications, environment and product.

The U.S. General Services Administration has won the corporate special commendation, and Gordon Segal of Crate & Barrel has won the design patron award, which is the only one chosen by the museum.