IN IT TO WIN IT: A fresh batch of aspiring designers are in the running for one of fashion’s more coveted prizes.
The Council of Fashion Designers of America and Vogue have announced this year’s contenders for the 2023 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. The winner will receive $300,000 and two runners-up will go home with $100,000 each. The aim for all is to gain the building blocks that are necessary to create a viable and long-lasting business.
The finalists this time around are: Angelo Fabricio Urrutia of 4SDesigns, Colin LoCascio, Rachel Scott of Diotima, Kim Shui, Kozaburo Akasaka of Kozaburo, Melitta Baumeister, Sami Miro of Sami Miro Vintage, Fletcher Kasell and Tanner Richie of Tanner Fletcher, Everard Best and Téla D’Amore of Who Decides War, and Henry Zankov of Zankov.
The CFDA’s chairman Thom Browne, who continues to design his eponymous label, said, “It’s so important that the world sees this new generation of American designers…the talent in the United States is unparalleled in regards to creativity and diversity and, moreover, truly American…the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund shines an important and generous light on this.”
“Every year I am astounded by how much talent we have in this country, with designers who are as wildly creative as they are sensitive to the world today. They’re not only imaginative, but they strive to be thought leaders and community creators, reminding us that fashion can be meaningful to everyone,” Anna Wintour, chief content officer of Condé Nast, and global editorial director of Vogue, said.
The fund was established following the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in New York in 2001 to help emerging designers and to cultivate the next generation of American designers. The 2023 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund is supported by Afterpay, Instagram, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Vogue. In addition to Wintour and Browne, this year’s selection committee includes the CFDA’s Steven Kolb, Vogue’s Mark Holgate and Chioma Nnadi, Brother Vellies’ and the Fifteen Percent Pledge’s Aurora James, Saks Fifth Avenue’s Roopal Patel, Instagram’s Eva Chen, Nordstrom’s Sam Lobban, model and activist Paloma Elsesser, and Afterpay’s and The Next Generation’s Nick Molnar. — ROSEMARY FEITELBERG
BEAUTY WATCH: Beauty has a new megawatt entrant — Beyoncé.
The winner of 32 Grammys took to Instagram Tuesday night to announce her latest venture, which appears to be a hair care brand.
“How many of y’all knew my first job was sweeping hair in my mama’s salon? Destiny’s Child got our start by performing for clients while they were getting their hair done. I was exposed to so many different kinds of entrepreneurial women in her salon,” the Instagram post read. “I saw firsthand how the ways we nurture and celebrate hair can directly impact our souls. I watched her heal and be of service to so many women. Having learned so much on my hair journey, I’ve always dreamed of carrying on her legacy I can’t wait for you to experience what I’ve been creating.”
Sources tell WWD that the brand is helmed by Beyoncé’s mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson, and is also developing fragrances. The brand’s name and launch timing could not be learned. A spokesperson for Beyoncé did not return a request for comment by press time.
Though many celebrities have entered beauty in recent years, sources are bullish on Beyoncé’s business prospects. “I mean, she is the biggest, and her mom had a salon. It will be authentic. It’s going to be huge if she has science behind it,” one source said. “They’re laying the foundation, they’re building up the hype. It’s getting more press than God and who even knows when it’s coming out.”
Many celebrities have tried their hand in the beauty industry, and several have found it lucrative: Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty, for example, brought in 600 million euros in its first year on the market. — JAMES MANSO
STAR SHOTS: It seems that there’s no one that British fashion photographer Rankin hasn’t captured — Queen Elizabeth II, Vivienne Westwood and Kate Moss are but a few stars that have stood in front of his lens.
Now, the artist’s work will be celebrated at the Ernst Leitz Museum in Germany, in an exhibition titled “Rankin: Zeisprünge (Leaps in time)” from May 26 to Sept. 27.
The exhibition, which will include portraits spanning Rankin’s three-decade long career as well as unpublished images from 2023, encourages a conversation between motifs from the 1990s and 2000s and today.
Accompanying the exhibition is a stand-alone collector’s edition of Hunger magazine, a publication Rankin founded in 2011, which will feature stars such as Lily Allen, Stefflon Don, the Sugababes, Will Poulter, Rachel Weisz and Eddie Marsan.
This exhibit comes almost a year after the photographer and publisher helped to raise more than 5,000 pounds for The Legacy of War Foundation for Ukraine during a special exhibition called “Visual Noise,” the first art fair dedicated solely to the U.K.’s emerging photography talent.
Rankin invited 40 graduate photographers from Central Saint Martins, London College of Communication, Goldsmiths and the London College of Fashion to exhibit photographs they had taken during their studies.
Rankin was born in Scotland in 1966. After graduating from the London College of Printing, Rankin went on to found magazine Dazed & Confused and Dazed Film & TV Agency in 1999 with Jefferson Hack.
In addition to his extensive work in fashion photography, Rankin went on to release a string of publications, including Rank, published in 2000, and later Hunger magazine. — VIOLET GOLDSTONE
FATHER OF THE YEAR: Jeff Gennette will soon have a lot more time to spend with his daughter Jude — but he’s done a pretty good job up until now.
Gennette’s parenting skills will be recognized next month when the chief executive officer of Macy’s, who has announced that he will exit that role next February, will be named a Father of the Year by the National Father’s Day Council.
Gennette and his husband Geoff Welch, a retired graphics producer, will be honored along with actor Matthew Broderick and Michael Kay, Yes Network’s New York Yankees broadcaster, host of the Yes’ “CenterStage” interview show, cohost of “The Michael Kay Show” radio show and cohost with Alex Rodriguez of “KayRod Cast” for Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN.
The 81st annual Father of the Year Awards will be held at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel and the event will benefit Save the Children’s U.S. Programs and Advocacy, which works to break the cycle of poverty for rural American children most vulnerable to educational and food inequities by providing early learning and other support.
This year’s awards will be hosted by Nate Burleson, cohost of “CBS Mornings” and analyst for CBS Sports’ “The NFL Today” show.
“Each year we get the chance to honor hardworking and passionate fathers who are committed to creating change in their industries and communities,” said Dan Orwig, president and chief executive officer of The Father’s Day/Mother’s Day Council. “We are thrilled to honor four such inspirational dads this year who are so well-respected in their roles and have an unwavering commitment to their families and philanthropic efforts.”
To date, the council has donated more than $30 million to family-related charities nationwide. — JEAN E. PALMIERI
SUSTAINABLE SHOP: Accessories brand Sandqvist has relaunched its Soho flagship, redesigning the space to pay homage to its Nordic heritage in partnership with artist Emmely Elgersma.
The store, which features 99 percent upcycled material, is accented by vibrant pieces of furniture and interior details crafted by Elgersma, who was formally trained as a ceramicist and has previously worked with Ikea, Adidas, TikTok, Paynter Jacket and Clerkenwell Design Week.
“The more digital our world becomes and the more technical products we produce, our stores become even more important. We want our customers to make conscious choices and our products to stay relevant for as long as possible,” said Sebastian Westin, the brand’s cofounder.
The rollout of updated stores comes on the heels of Sandqvist introducing a 30-hour, four-day work week for full-time employees at the end of February. The accessories brand announced the decision after reporting a 20 percent turnover increase at the end of 2022.
“Being able to give our employees the opportunity to work even smarter, to be able to have more meaningful free time with more time for themselves and their relationships, feels both nice and exciting,” said Caroline Lind, chief executive officer of Sandqvist.
The Stockholm-based accessories company, founded in 2004 by Sebastian Westin and brothers Anton and Daniel Sandqvist, focuses on sustainably made bags for work, adventure, and everything in between.
In 2020, Sandqvist was featured in the Swedish Design Museum’s first takeout design exhibit, where visitors could reserve and use Sandqvist backpacks for a week across the four corners of the country. —V.G.