The Council of Fashion Designers of America and the Accessories Council have named five finalists for their third annual Elaine Gold Launch Pad program, which supports new companies.
The finalists are Tribe + Glory’s Loren Thomas and Caragh Bennet; Graham Baldwin’s Graham Tyler; Shanel’s Shanel Campbell; Bond Hardware’s Dana Hurwitz and Mariah Pershadsingh, and Rui Zhou.
Each finalist has been in business for less than three years and will vie for a portion of the fund’s $175,000 in prize money. Over the course of 23 weeks, finalists will partake in a “virtual residency” that sees them review their business strategies, brand concepts and design offerings. K11 founder and new CFDA global ambassador Adrian Cheng has signed on to the launch pad’s advisory board and selection committee, and will mentor finalists through his K11 group.
“As CFDA and Accessories Council enter the third year of Elaine Gold Launch Pad, we are immensely proud of the success of past participants. They have pioneered new approaches to fashion such as inclusivity, accessibility and circularity. They look at the fashion model through a whole new lens, which is exciting and inspiring,” said Steven Kolb, chief executive officer of the CFDA.
“We were delighted to have more entrants than ever before. It was quite a task to pick the group for this round! We are excited to start working with this talented and diverse team!” added Accessories Council president Karen Giberson.
Previous Elaine Gold Launch Pad participants include Bode’s Emily Adams Bode, Jahnkoy’s Maria Kazakova and Genusee founders Ali Rose and Jack Burns, who are based in Flint, Michigan.