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Tabitha Simmons, Suno’s Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty and A.L.C.’s Andrea Lieberman are among the finalists for this year’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund.

This story first appeared in the July 17, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Others include Assembly New York’s Greg Armas; Giulietta’s Sofia Sizzi; Illesteva’s Justin Salguero, Daniel Silberman and Alina Silberman; Jennifer Fisher; Jennifer Meyer Maguire, The Elder Statesman’s Greg Chait and Wes Gordon.

A winner and two runners-up will be announced at a gala dinner Nov. 13. Along with mentoring, the first-place finisher will pocket a $300,000 award, and the runners-up will take home $100,000 to develop their respective businesses.

There is plenty of work to be done before the awards are doled out. Starting at the end of this month, the selection committee will sit down with each finalist for an in-depth interview and to check out his or her current collection. In addition, they will drop by the design studios of each finalist. Through a new Tiffany & Co.-backed design project, designers will create one-of-a-kind pieces that will debut in October.

In addition, each finalist will present several of their creations in a fashion show at the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles in October.

Derek Lam and Neiman Marcus vice president and fashion director Ken Downing are the newest additions to the 10-person selection committee, which includes Diane von Furstenberg, Andrew Rosen, CFDA chief executive officer Steven Kolb and Anna Wintour, among others.

In its ninth year, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund program, which gives up-and-comers financial support, is sponsored by partner J. Crew, as well as underwriters American Express, Appleman Foundation, Carolina Herrera, Coach, Nordstrom, Group, Theory, Tiffany & Co., Tommy Hilfiger, W Hotels and Vogue. This year, four new underwriters have come into the fold — Kate Spade New York, Neiman Marcus, The Limited Stores and The Ralph Bartel Foundation.

Over the years, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund has granted $2.8 million to 21 companies, including previous winners Joseph Altuzarra, Billy Reid and Alexander Wang.

Kolb said, “The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund has developed a new generation of American designers whose creative talent is known around the world. The success for these designers is built on the specialized mentoring and business grants provided by the Fashion Fund.”

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