On November 2 CFDA and Vogue announced which designer finalists won The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund (CVFF) at a gala dinner in the Westfield World Trade Center. This year, unlike others, there was not only one winner. Three talented designers won $300,000 and a year-long mentorship. The winning trio is Aurora James of Brother Vellies, Jonathan Simkhai and Rio Uribe of Gypsy Sport.
In order to win The Fashion Fund finalists must complete a series of challenges beginning in July.
Business of Fashion said, “This year, Fossil sponsored a design challenge, Kate Spade sponsored a marketing challenge and Instagram sponsored a social media challenge. They must complete these tasks, spend half-a-week in Los Angeles and welcome every judge — as well as a camera crew — into their workspaces on a continual basis, all the while maintaining their regular production schedule. More than anything, it’s an investment of time.”
The judges included Anna Wintour, CFDA president and chief executive Steven Kolb, CFDA chairman Diane von Fürstenberg, J.Crew’s Jenna Lyons, Theory chief executive Andrew Rosen, designer Reed Krakoff, Neiman Marcus’ Ken Downing, Nordstrom’s Jeffrey Kalinsky, Vogue fashion news director Mark Holgate and Rag & Bone designers Marcus Wainwright and David Neville.
“In its twelfth year, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund continues to highlight the best of emerging talent in American fashion,” said Steven Kolb.
Well known brands today made their start through the CVFF including Alexander Wang in 2008, Prabal in 2010, Altuzarra in 2011 and Proenza Schouler in 2004.
According to BoF, The CVFF was established in 2003 with two years of planning involved.
“September 11 was the very first day of New York Fashion Week,” Wintour recalls. “As a result, every fashion show was cancelled. The big designers were able to regroup and show in a different way, but what became very obvious to us was all the younger designers had put down their deposits, lost them and did not have the financial wherewithal to have another show.”
Carolina Herrera, Wintour and her team at Vogue organised a runway show for said designers just a few weeks after the attacks.
“From that came the realisation that these young designers were living a hand-to-mouth existence, and that they needed mentorship and support,” Wintour said.