Designers to Watch: Awards for Fashion’s New Faces

From left, spring looks from Eighteenth, James Long, Wes Gordon, and Mary Katrantzou.

Paris couture week wrapped up on Wednesday evening at Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, where Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli sent out a breathtaking collection inspired by Enlightenment philosophes (Rousseau lovely!). Now it’s full speed ahead to the New York shows, which kick off on February 8, followed by fashionfests in London, Milan, and then back to Paris. The latest crop of awards provides a handy cheat sheet of emerging—and in some cases, downright emerged—designers to watch this season:

  • Fashion Group International took over the uptown NYC outpost of Cipriani yesterday for its annual Rising Star awards luncheon. Designers Isabel and Ruben Toledo offered keynote remarks, while presenters including Ralph Rucci and Thom Browne announced the winners: Wes Gordon and Nonoo’s Misha Nonoo (who tied for the top honor in the women’s ready-to-wear category), Simon Spurr (menswear), Blythe Harris of Stella & Dot (accessories), our Twitter pal Wendy Brandes (fine jewelry), Joe Manus of Shiner International (home/interior design), David and Kavi Moltz of D.S. & Durga (beauty/fragrance entrepreneur ), IFF’s Celine Barel (beauty/fragrance corporate), and Vasken Demirjian‘s Vasken Salon (retail). Check out the full list of finalists here.
  • Earlier this month, winemaker Ecco Domani announced the seven winners of the 2012 Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation awards (read: $25,000 grants), and the list is full of superfresh faces. The womenswear honorees are twin sisters Daphne and Vera Correll‘s twice-as-nice label Correll Correll, breezy Eighteenth by Alexa Galler, Julie Haus and Jason Alkire‘s Haus Alkire, and Sunhee by Seoul-born designer (and Geoffrey Beene alum) Sunhee. Rounding out the list are Tim Coppens for menswear, Dezso by Sara Beltran for accessories, and Titania Inglis in the sustainable design category.
  • And across the pond, the British Fashion Council (BFC) recently announced the four designers that will receive Fashion Forward sponsorships (read: satchels of cash) to show their collections in London for the next two seasons: womenswear designers Henry Holland, Louise Gray, and Mary Katrantzou, and menswear maestro James Long, who is the first menswear designer to receive support through this scheme. The awards program, established six years ago to help emerging British designers show and develop their businesses in London, also includes access to business support provided by the BFC.