By  on December 7, 2006

With a much-lauded spring collection that extended her forte beyond jersey dresses and the highly coveted CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award under her belt, Doo-Ri Chung is ready to climb to the next level.Last month's award, which includes a $200,000 cash prize and a mentoring program with a fashion executive, coupled with the Swarovski Perry Ellis award for emerging women's wear designer at the CFDA Fashion Awards in May, has given the designer a spurt of momentum that she will be able to turn into growth in the New Year."The h thing I want to strengthen is my international recognition," Chung, 33, told WWD. "I hope the Fashion Fund committee will be able to help me with that. Even though I already have international stores, I need key stores, and I don't think I can get that without brand recognition overseas."Since starting in business four-and-a-half years ago, Chung has been able to expand her distribution. She now sells to about 40 stores, including Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Forty Five Ten in Dallas. Besides expanding her global reach, Chung also hopes to widen her range to include more daywear and to increase her deliveries. "I would like to get to a point where we can make four solid deliveries and add even more on top of that," she said.Chung declined to disclose sales information for her business but said she has made a "profit by a very slight margin" this year, which will be reinvested into her firm. "This was a banner year for me, and I feel 2007 is the year to capitalize on it," she said. "There has been so much industry support. Now, it's my part to step up."

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