On Monday night, a bit of the Midwest came to New York City for the announcement of the Caleres Emerging Designer Award finalists, presented by the Saint Louis Fashion Fund. Designers from six brands were recognized in contention for the award, a $25,000 grant to be chosen on Nov. 4, during Saint Louis Fashion Week: Julie Haus and Jason Alkire of Haus Alkire, Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta of Eckhaus Latta, Azede Jean-Pierre, Katharine Polk of Houghton, Brandon Sun, and Jordana Warmflash of Novis.

The announcement came in the form of a cocktail party, held at the Caleres (formerly known as Brown Shoe Company) and Sam Edelman showroom in Midtown Manhattan, and hosted by Diane Sullivan, chief executive officer, president and chairman of Caleres, along with Sam and Libby Edelman, Tomoko Ogura, Roopal Patel, Lisa Perry and Gary Wassner. Before presenting the finalists, Elizabeth Tucker, creator of Saint Louis Fashion Week, gave a brief introduction about the importance of the program. “The startup scene is booming in the city of Saint Louis, so I would love to recognize Diane Sullivan for her vision and realizing that a huge part of this equation is attracting, retaining and developing designers as a part of this entrepreneurial ecosystem in our city,” she said.

Susan Sherman, chair of the Saint Louis Fashion Fund, and Tania Beasley-Jolly, chair of the Caleres Emerging Designer Award, revealed the finalists, a majority of whom were in attendance, with each label showing a signature look on a mannequin towards the front of the room. The party also attracted Al Roker, Rachel Comey, Timo Weiland, Danielle Snyder and Todd Thomas. “Some of the values we live by every day as a company include curiosity, creativity and passion,” said Sullivan. “The Emerging Designer competition embodies those values, and we are always inspired by the designers that participate.”

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