On Wednesday night, I tuned in to the premiere episode of “The Fashion Fund,” Ovation’s new reality show based around the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund selection process. In the first of six episodes, we get acquainted with the panel of judges, which includes the likes of Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg, Jenna Lyons and CFDA President Steven Kolb, as well as with the 10 finalists, who are chosen throughout the episode.
While those who follow fashion know how this story will end, seeing each designer going through the application process and feeling those emotions with them makes the show well worth watching. Here are our 10 questions for the first episode of the series, and be sure to tune in with us throughout the rest of the season.
1. Can we talk about Misha Nonoo‘s apartment for a moment? It’s like “Gossip Girl”-level awesome.
2. What songs are on the mixtape from Jewish summer camp that Scott Sternberg of Band of Outsiders included with his Fashion Fund application? (It has Grateful Dead written on it in Hebrew, so that should give us a hint.)
3. How much do these designers spend to create their CFDA portfolios? While it’s definitely a deciding factor on whether you make the cut, they included iPads, fur, custom-made leather bags and even furniture. These things look like crazy investments.
4. After naming her first choice — and (spoiler alert!) the eventual winners of the Fashion Fund — Public School, Anna Wintour says she thinks the duo should be considered immediately since they’d previously worked for Sean John. Who new the editrix’s love for Diddy ran so deep?
5. Anna Wintour’s second finalist pick, Veronica Beard, is designed by two sisters-in-law who are both named, you guessed it, Veronica Beard. What are the chances? And did they have the easiest time naming their label in the history of brand building?
6. Did anyone else get emotional when Mark Alary — a fine jewelry designer who was a second time applicant — talked about his financial struggles? I got a little misty when he explained: “It’s very expensive. Since I’ve been funding everything myself, I’ve had amazing stores come to me wanting to have the collection, and I had to say no. It was heartbreaking. This really means a lot to me, I need a lot of help.”
7. During the deliberations, Anna Wintour pleads, “No more insane ones, please!” after Mark Holgate nominates Parabellum, a line designed by “a couple of characters.” Who, pray tell, is she referring to?
8. What on earth was going through Wintour’s head when she saw designer Jason Jones’ neck tattoos for the first time? (So #punk.)
9. Is there a bigger stamp of approval in the entire episode than when Andrew Rosen — the wildly accomplished CEO of Theory — says of the Ovadia & Sons brothers, “If there’s a company to bet on, you can bet on these guys to be successful”? Do you think it will be the next brand Rosen buys a stake in?
10. Is Anna Wintour going to wear her sunglasses inside/during meetings for the entire season? That seems excessive.