Rosario Dawson, Abrima Erwiah, STUDIO ONE EIGHTY NINE

The CFDA + Lexus Fashion Initiative 3.0 program, designed to help fashion labels implement sustainable practices in their businesses, is under way.

Applications will open today on, inviting designers and brands of small- to midscale, with specializations in women’s and/or men’s apparel and accessories (excluding jewelry) to apply for the opportunity to participate in the nine-monthlong virtual residency program.

Five designers or brands will be selected for the 2018-19 program. The goal of the initiative is to further American fashion’s movement toward sustainability.

Underwritten by Lexus, the participants will be eligible for awards totaling $80,000 to advance their goals. At the conclusion of the program, the designer-brand with the most visionary, viable and impactful strategic blueprint for a positive future will be awarded a Lexus Grant of $100,000.

Steven Kolb, president and chief executive officer of the CFDA, said “We continue to invest in the future of our industry through education and by encouraging innovation in sustainability. Sustainability is a core pillar of our work and the partnership with Lexus on the CFDA + Lexus Fashion Initiative allows us to do this and guide designers toward a sustainable future.”

For the last go-round, the  top honors went to Studio One Eighty Nine, which was founded by childhood friends actress Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah in 2013. The collection is based in Ghana and New York and focuses on supporting and developing artisanal design communities in Africa.

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