TOPS IN ST. LOUIS: Houghton’s Katharine Polk took home the top honors and a $25,000 prize before Wednesday’s annual St. Louis Fashion Fund gala. Polk was chosen for the the Caleres Emerging Designer Award over Haus Alkire’s Julie Haus and Jason Alkire; Eckhaus Latte’s Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latte; Azede Jean-Pierre and NOVIS’ Jordana Warmflash. Earlier in the evening as part of St. Louis Fashion Week, each contender presented their spring collection in a runway show for more than 1,000 people.

Jury members Fern Mallis, Gary Wassner and Tomoko Ogura helped whittle down the finalists to select the winner. Before launching her own label, Polk started out by working at Badgley Mischka.

Polk wasn’t the only New York-based fashion person honored Wednesday. During the St. Louis Fashion Fund gala, Iris Apfel was recognized with an award, as was Levi Strauss & Co.’s Paul Dillinger.

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