Jameel Mohammed, Emily Adams Bode, Maria Kazakova, Alexis Isabel, Jack Burns, Lucy Jones, Ali Rose, Mark Richardson

The Accessories Council and the Council of Fashion Designers of America have revealed the finalists of their second annual Elaine Gold Launch Pad program.

The program supports brands that have been in business from zero to three years. Labels are judged for their creativity, potential, sustainability, innovation and more.

At the end of a 23-week program, finalists are considered for the entirety or a split portion of a $175,000 prize. Last year’s inaugural competition saw each finalist take home some portion of that lump sum.

The 2018 finalists are Adiff by Angela Luna; Ashya by Moya Annece and Ashley Cimone; Cyril Studio by Leila Du Mond; Tyche & Iset Eyewear by Morganne Leigh; and Occhii by Leonid Batekhin.

This year’s prize lot has received a $25,000 addition courtesy of support by MZ Wallace – bringing the total to $200,000. Winners will also have access to Camp David, a co-working space in Industry City, Brooklyn.

This year’s selection committee of fashion executives and designers including Assembly New York’s Greg Armas, Colette Malouf, Chromat’s Becca McCharen-Tran, the CFDA’s chief executive officer Steven Kolb and the Accessories Council’s president Karen Giberson.

Giberson said in a statement: “This year the volume of applications and talent to select from was highly impressive and it was quite difficult to narrow the group to our five winners. We are looking forward to getting to know our 2018/19 team. While our aim is always to choose the best possible candidates and enjoy working with all the companies, we are particularly delighted to see jewelry, optical and bags in the mix.”

Kolb added: “To get a fashion business off the ground in its first three years can be at once challenging and daunting. With the Elaine Gold Launch Pad program, CFDA and the Accessories Council aim to help early-emerging and young design talent start and build their businesses around sustainability, innovation and technology. The second group of finalists demonstrate immense potential to become fashion leaders of tomorrow.”

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