The Accessories Council and the Council of Fashion Designers of America revealed the winners of its inaugural Elaine Gold Launch Pad on Tuesday evening.
The four-year program aims to support emerging designers who have been in business between zero and three years.
A total of $90,000 was awarded, split amongst the program’s six finalists.
The largest sum ($40,000) was given to Lucy Jones’ brand Ffora, which designs clothes for wheelchair users. Optical brand Genusee by Mark Richardson, Jack Burns and Ali Rose was awarded $20,000. Bode’s Emily Adams Bode took home $10,000, as did Maria Kazakova’s brand Jahnkoy. Footwear designer Alexis Isabel was awarded $5,000 for her namesake brand, as was Jameel Mohammed’s jewelry label Khiry.
Winners were determined by a selection committee including Accessories Council president Karen Giberson, CFDA chief executive officer Steven Kolb, Bergdorf Goodman men’s fashion director Bruce Pask and Shinola’s codesigner for leather goods Richard Lambertson.
Kolb said: “Everybody big or small wants to have great accessories product — you have seen it really drive and grow businesses if you hit on that ‘It’ product, it’s an important part of business and remains a defining purchase for many consumers.”
Giberson said of the winners in a statement: “We were very proud of the entire team of designers in the Elaine Gold Launch Pad. It was a pleasure to work with them all and watch their progress over the course of the program. We will continue to work with and support this amazing team. Ffora, who received our lead prize of $40,000, has worked very hard to create a stylish and functional accessory line for the disabled population and beyond. Her innovations and thorough preparation were so impressive.”