Reese Cooper MenÕs Spring 2021

DRUM ROLL PLEASE: For those searching for some good news in the ailing apparel industry, the Fashion Group International has revealed this year’s finalists for its Rising Star awards. To keep coronavirus safety protocols in place, the Dec. 17 event will be a virtual one. Slated to kick off at 4 p.m., the annual celebration is expected to take an hour from start to finish — including a live awards presentation.

FGI’s president and chief executive officer Maryanne Grisz said, “It is incredibly important now, more than ever, to acknowledge new talent as they strive to work in an ever-changing marketplace.“

The field of nominees for Womenswear includes Aknvas’ Christian Juul Nielsen, Epperson’s Rodney Epperson, GRP1 Knits’ Peter Kamieniecki and namesake designers Amir Taghi, Kelsey Randall, Sai Sankoh and Soonil Kwan – all of whom have their own signature collections. Vying for the men’s wear award are Reese Cooper, Victor Li, Christopher Lowman and Phit Clothing’s Phillip White.

Apotts’ Aaron Potts is in the running for the All Gender Product award that was introduced for the first time last year. Other competitors are Rinat Brodach, Cassandra Elizabeth’s Cassandra Burrell, Cipriani Mia’s Nelissa [sic] Carrillo and Venim’s Leslie Fong and Kaycee Houchin.

One of the more crowded categories is for the Beauty Entrepreneur honor. Curl Daddy’s Edwin Pierrot, Em & El Organics’ Emily Trower-Young, Masami’s Lynn Power, Nyakio Beauty’s Nyakio Grieco, Pause Well-Aging’s Rochelle Weitzner, Sparti Scents’ Caroline Fabrigas and Abby Wallace and Versed’s Melanie Bender are all vying for the honor.

Five brands have been nominated for the Accessories, Scarves/Fashion Jewelry category: Dalfo’s Carolina Dalfo, Ines x Ciner’s Ines Di Santo, Rory Worby Studio’s Rory Worby, Trelawear’s Mara Perlmutter and You Go Natural’s Monique Little. And four have been named for the Accessories, Handbags/Footwear honor: Area’s Tina Bhojwani, Bentz’s Melissa and Kim Bentz, Daph.’s Daphne Benzaquen and Mia Becar’s Betzabe Gonzalez.

Three enterprising companies are facing off for the New Retail award: Clear for Me’s Sabrina Noorani, Fashwire’s Kimberley Carney and Jerrimiah James’ Jerry Buckner.

In light of the months of self isolation that many in the world have dealt with and in many cases are facing again due to the pandemic, the Home Product Innovation award may be of particular interest. Hazy Mae Cookie Jars’ Hazy Mae, Pandemic Design Studio’s David Rozek, Ryan Saghian Interior Design’s Ryan Saghian and Rosie Li Studio’s Rosie Li are nominees.

One sure winner is LEAP founder Amish Tolia, who will be picking up the Hilldun Business Innovation award from Hilldun Corporation’s leader, Gary Wassner.

The most packed showdown will be for the Fekkai Sustainability award, which will be presented by Frédéric Fekkai. The race includes a few, who have also been nominated for other awards — Bhojwani of Aera, Benzaquen of Daph. Trower-Young of Em & El Organics, Bender of Versed, Randall and Cooper. The two other nominees are Glenn + Glenn’s Hillary Glenn and We Are Hah’s Sharleen Ernster.

Hilldun, Hearst Magazines, Diesel and Fekkai are this year’s lineup of sponsors.

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