Becoming a “Rising Star” award winner is an aspiration for many emerging talents in the fashion industry, and the Fashion Group International has revealed its roster for this year’s finalists.
Winners will be announced at a ticketed luncheon on May 8 at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers in New York City. As genderless fashion is increasingly embraced by designers and major brands, as seen through product offerings and, in some cases, joint runways shows and presentations, FGI is highlighting three categories by sector, not by gender for the first time: Eveningwear, Ready-to-Wear and Active/Casualwear. Consumers’ interest in fluid fashion and market trends helped spark the shift.
The global unisex apparel market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.5 percent, generating an estimated $3.2 billion by 2030. Millennials and Gen Z consumers are contributing to the growth. Calls for gender equality is also a factor — something that brands like Adidas, Tory Burch and Gap have supported through their workforces.
The field for FGI’s Eveningwear category consists of eponymous designers Andrew Kwon, Bach Mai, Kate Barton, Terry Singh and Manuel Tiscareño, who is behind Tiscareño. The ready-to-wear honor will go to one of the following: namesake designer Autumn Adeigbo, Stephen Mikhail of Atelier Cillian, sisters Kelsey and Cassidy Tucker of the Detroit-based Deviate, Marrisa Wilson of Marrisa Wilson New York, the husband-and-wife team Michael and Alex Toccin of Toccin.
The Active/Casualwear arena represents a crowded marketplace that has only grown in the past few years as stay-at-home workforce favors ultracasual, comfortable clothes. This year’s contenders for the Rising Star award for Active/Casualwear are: Marusya Tamboura and Burkindy for Jahnkoy, namesake designer Nicholas Raefski, Joseph DeAcetis of Potro, and another signature designer, Teddy von Ranson.
In the running for the Beauty/Entrepreneur honor are with Stephanie Miklosvary of Lucky Chick, husband-and-wife duo Michael and Diana Wilson of Saints & Sinners Haircare, and Raquel Riley Thomas of Raquel Riley Thomas Beauty.
This year’s most competitive field is for Accessories — Hard and Soft Goods Categories. The finalists are namesake designer Celia Torvisco, Chris Donovan of Chris Donovan Footwear, Jennifer Rose Smail of Cuddigan Leather, Megan Key Campos and Nick Lucio of Oncept, Rowell Concepcion of Binata Millinery, Metri Holliday of Metri Holliday LLC and Lei Li and Yiren Zhou of Monsecret New York. For Fine Jewelry, Hakan Orrling of Arild, Moulay Yacoubi of Burkindy, Ritika Ravi of Ivar Jewelry, and mother-daughter duo Maika Rivera Tanpoco and Melizza Jaune Tanpoco of Jaune Pearls are in the running.
As collaborations continue to fuel the industry, FGI will be handing out its Rising Star award for Collaborations to one of these joint forces: Jared Jewelers’ marketing director Dan Hines for the company’s hook-up with the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers “Junkyard Dog Chain,” Wolverine Worldwide’s vice president of global marketing Scott Schoessel for the brand’s 1000 Mile x Old Rip Van Winkle, or Amer_ican’s founder Vesna Cremona for Amer_ican’s tie-ins with various designers.
As in years past, this spring’s 27th anual luncheon will include special awards such as the Hilldun Business Award that will go to Marcelo Guimarães and Jordana Guimarães of Fashinnovation, and the FGI Rising Star Entrepreneur Award to Kimberly Carney of The Wires. To rev up interest in the Rising Star awards beforehand, an advance party will be held on April 4 at Sartoria Studio, a made-to-measure haberdashery at 65-69 West Houston Street in New York’s SoHo neighborhood. Hilldun is back as a 2023 FGI Rising Star Awards sponsor, and Fashwire is also on board with its support. Perhaps indicative of another shift in the fashion industry — as in the advertising-ailing publishing segment — is the absence of Hearst as a luncheon sponsor after a 10-year run.