The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and Vogue today announced the ten finalists for the fifth annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund initiative, which provides financial support and business mentorship for emerging American designers. Past winners include Doo.Ri, Proenza Schouler, Thom Browne, and longtime UnBeige favorite Rodarte. This year’s finalists are:
- Albertus Quartus (Albertus Q. Swanepoel)
- Alejandro Ingelmo
- Alexander Wang
- Irene Neuwirth
- Jason Wu
- Juan Carlos Obando
- Obedient Sons & Daugheters (Swaim and Christina Hutson)
- Organic (John Patrick)
- Richard Chai
- Vena Cava (Lisa Mayock and Sophie Buhai)
Vena Cava was also nominated last year, when the award went to Rogan designer Rogan Gregory, and Wang was among three nominees for the CFDA’s 2008 Swarovski Award for emerging talent in womenswear, which Rodarte took home in June. Earlier this year, the Hutsons were finalists in the GQ Best New Menswear Designers in America project for their Obedient Sons line. Meanwhile, Chai is the only one of the Fashion Fund-nominated designers who is a member of the CFDA, having been inducted last summer.
Later this month, each of the nominated designers will be visited by the CFDA/Vogue fashion fund selection committee (which includes Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg) who will review their current collections and conduct “in-depth interviews.” The winner, to be announced at a November 17 dinner in New York City, will receive up to $200,000, and two runners-up will receive up to $50,000 each. The award also includes mentorship from corporate sponsors and industry professionals.