Up-and-comers Don Morphy Privé Clothiers and NeoBantu won top honors for men’s wear and women’s wear, respectively, at the Rising Star Awards presented by Fashion Group International of Dallas on Wednesday night at the Trade Mart.
It was the second FGI Rising Star prize for men’s fashion in as many months for Don Morphy founder Daniel Mofor, who won the accolade from FGI in New York on Jan. 24.
The custom haberdasher, which manufactures in Florence is dressing a growing number of high-profile men and professional athletes in sharply tailored clothing and shoes.
A native of Cameroon, Mofor was a computer engineer for Walmart before relocating to Dallas and launching Don Morphy as a part-time enterprise in 2017. His two young, immaculately suited sons were the hit of his runway show.
“We here in Dallas, we don’t have to go to New York to be good in fashion — we can be good right here,” Mofor said. “I’m very pleased to be part of this progressive community.”
The award for women’s fashion went to NeoBantu designer Tendai Tawonezvi. She has earned a following for her colorful dresses and sportswear in bold cotton textiles from Africa. Tawonezvi, who hails from Zimbabwe, introduced satin, embroidery and lace in the collection that she showed Wednesday.
The other women’s fashion nominees were Lela Orr and Lea Nyland for Ferrah contemporary sportswear and Erica LeFlore of Erica Dawn Woodmore, which specializes in all-black body-conscious dresses and separates.
Presenter Venny Etienne, who won the women’s award last year, and Orr are both contestants in the 17th season of “Project Runway,” which begins airing March 14 on Bravo.
FGI Dallas also honored self-taught milliner Logan Miles Allison of Heart Hatter for accessories, Shana Anderson for photography and sisters Sarah and Natalie Knowlton for their lifestyle blog, We the Birds.
In addition, the group gave the retail award to Harkensback, which focuses on sustainable fashion and lifestyle products, and presented the beauty trophy to hair and makeup artist Anastasia Strattan.
FGI Dallas also paid tribute to blogger Courtney Kerr for hosting the awards show for four consecutive years.