Billy Reid Wins $300K CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Prize

At a gala held last night at New York’s Skylight Studios, Karl Lagerfeld and actress Carey Mulligan (in Chanel haute couture) announced that designer Billy Reid is the winner of the seventh annual Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)/Vogue Fashion Fund Prize. Reid, who in February was named GQ‘s Best Menswear Designer in America, bested nine other finalists to take home a bigger-than-ever Fashion Fund prize of $300,000 and a steady stream of business mentoring from industry veterans. Runner-up honors (and $100,000 each, double the sum awarded last year) went to jewelry designer Eddie Borgo and breakout ready-to-wear star Prabal Gurung. The other finalists were Joseph Altuzarra, Christian Cota, Gregory Parkinson, Oliver Helden and Paul Marlow of Loden Dager, Moss Lipow, Pamela Love, and Robert Geller.

In addition to a lot more cash than in years past, the winner and runners-up were recognized with trophies for the first time. Sculptor Rachel Feinstein was tapped to create the bronze keepsakes. “After many years of this award ceremony, we finally realized that it would be great for the winners and runners-up to actually have an award to take home at the end of the evening,” said Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. “Rachel is not only a wonderful artist and sculptor but is also a true fashion original, and a muse and inspiration to so many designers.” Reid received a swan with its neck tucked under its wing, a design inspired by a Cesar de Santo reproduction of the lost Leonardo Da Vinci painting “Leda and the Swan,” while Borgo and Gurung each took home a bronze egg that makes us think of Veruca Salt (wasn’t her dress so Marc Jacobs?). All ten 2010 Fashion Fund finalists will receive a reproduction of Feinstein’s original sketches to commemorate the event. Meanwhile, past Fashion Fund winners and runners-up such as Sophie Theallet, Alexander Wang, and Doo-Ri Chung should watch the mailbox: their swans and eggs are on the way.