NEW YORK — Then there were 10.
In what sounds like a pilot for “Survivor,” Seventh Avenue style, the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Vogue magazine on Monday revealed the 10 quarterfinalists who are vying for a grant of up to $200,000 for their businesses.
The list has been whittled down from 50 to Behnaz Sarafpour, Cloak’s Alexandre Plokhov and Robert Geller, Dean Harris, Derek Lam, Doo-Ri Chung, Edmundo Castillo, Habitual’s Nicole and Michael Colovos, Libertine’s Johnson Hartig and Cindy Greene, Peter Som, and Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez.
In September, eight industry insiders, including Narciso Rodriguez, Anna Wintour, Peter Arnold and Julie Gilhart, will narrow down the contenders to three semifinalists before naming one winner later this fall. This will mark the first grant from the annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. The amount of this year’s award will depend on the winner’s needs, a CFDA spokesman said.
As part of the review process, each applicant has to map out a business plan and have their collections reviewed by the selection committee.
Lam said he and business partner Jan Schlottmann filled out the application, “hoping but not expecting anything,” since they had heard so many people had applied.
Win or lose, Lam said the process has helped them focus on specific goals instead of vague plans. Having listed expansion in Europe as a priority, Schlottmann, the company’s chief executive officer, is scouting potential group showrooms, tallying the expense of having a sample line for Europe and considering how the European press might be accommodated. The company, which uses Italian factories, aims to join a group showroom in Paris in October.
The selection process was “totally difficult,” according to Gilhart, vice president and fashion director at Barneys. “The committee could really express themselves. I truly felt there were no politics involved,” she said.