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NEW YORK — At Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Awards luncheon on Thursday, keynote speaker Cathie Black, Hearst Magazines’ president, had some advice for the emerging talent being honored.

“Never take no for an answer,” Black said. “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission. Walk like you know where you are going, and dress for the job that you want, not for the job that you have.”

This story first appeared in the January 25, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

She should have added “keep awards presentations brief” to her list. The 11th annual awards in the packed Rainbow Room was lengthy. There was a long line to get into a ballroom, which was followed by extended remarks from presenters.

“This is such a beautiful space, but unfortunately, it took us half an hour to get in here,” FGI president Margaret Hayes told the crowd. “So I advise you to eat speedily.”

The awards honor emerging talent in multiple categories, and once the food had been cleared from the tables, the winners were announced. The women’s ready-to-wear winner was Jason Wu, and the men’s wear prize went to Hisham Oumlil for Oumlil.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything better before fashion week,” Wu said.

Charles Nolan took the award for retail, Kara Ross won in accessories and Christine J. Brandt, in fine jewelry. The fragrance corporate award recipient was Natasha Côté of Givaudan Fragrances, and Francesco Clark of Clark’s Botanicals received the fragrance entrepreneur award.

“This just gives me so much more strength and hope to be going at it,” said Clark, a former Harper’s Bazaar staffer who sustained a spinal cord injury in 2002 and is confined to a wheelchair.

Gilles-Fleur Boutry for Clodagh Design won in the home and interior design category. Movado provided the actual awards, and the event was sponsored by Cosmopolitan and Bebe.

Among those attending the luncheon were Peter Som, Charlotte Ronson, Tara Subkoff, Holly Dunlap, Eugenia Ulasewicz and Michael Bastian.

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