On Wednesday night, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund announced its new batch of 10 accomplished designers as nominees for the 2016 year. Winning is more than just $400,000 and a mentorship — it can launch you into the fashion big leagues. Past winners have included (in case you haven't heard) Alexander Wang, Altuzarra and Proenza Schouler. But even just being amongst the nominees is a big deal; last year led to an unprecedented three-way tie between Brother Vellies, Gypsy Sport and Jonathan Simkhai.
Trust us — you're going to want to remember these names. You'll be sure to get to know them all better on the next season of Amazon's "The Fashion Fund" (there were cameras on hand for last night's announcement), but until then, here's what you need to know about this year's batch of CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists.
Perhaps the most well-known of the bunch, Pratt-alumnus Adam Selman got his big break styling and designing for Rihanna — who could forget that nude CFDA Awards dress? But the buzz he's accrued since launching his eponymous line in 2013 is all him. Combining a sexy nightlife aesthetic with quirky, retro touches has won him many fans amongst the fashion flock and real girls alike.
Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk launched Area in 2013 after meeting at Parsons, and only just made their New York Fashion Week debut last September. But their interesting, innovative take on textiles has found them spots on editorials everywhere from Vogue Italia to Teen Vogue. Bella Hadid recently stepped out in one of their designs — and if there's any harbinger of success, it's the Instagirl clan embracing your designs.
Founded in 2013 by husband-and-wife duo Laura Vassar and Kristopher Brock (who met at Parsons), this line of chic, luxurious, wearable American sportswear began showing at NYFW in 2015. Already, it's become a favorite of editors and buyers alike, with stockists including The Line, Barneys, Matches Fashion and more.
Chloe Gosselin already had a couple of claims to fame before becoming a designer. The French beauty worked for years as a model, later making headlines for her relationship with magician David Copperfield, now her husband. These days, she's in the press for her elegant, high-end, eponymous shoe line, launched in 2014 and sold at Barneys and Moda Operandi.
Krewe du Optic
The New Orleans-based eyewear label has quickly become a celebrity favorite since launching in 2013. Founder Stirling Barrett and his team rely only on word-of-mouth marketing to promote their handmade frames, inspired directly by the culture-rich city the brand calls home. Krewe du Optic opened a flagship in the French Quarter last year.
Ji Oh is a New York womenswear designer who got her start in 2014 designing minimalistic, sleek silhouettes that are as comfortable and versatile as they are sophisticated, and can be found at Barneys and Intermix. The Korean-born, Parsons-trained Oh was also just chosen as part of the 2018 class of the CFDA Fashion Incubator.
Designer Morgan Curtis got her fashion start working as a salesperson in her mother Jill Stuart's shop and after studying at Central Saint Martins, she designed for the family brand. After working on Solid & Striped's debut womenswear line, Curtis broke out on her own in 2014 to launch Morgan Lane, a sophisticated and sweet lingerie and sleepwear brand available at Matches Fashion, Nordstrom and other retailers.
Sisters Maryam and Marjan Malakpour launched Newbark in 2009 with a pair of foldable, travel-friendly leather shoes in black — an offbeat alternative to the omnipresent ballet flat. Since then, Newbark has expanded its footwear range to include loafers, sandals, wedges and ankle boots, as well as small leather accessories, all of which are handmade in downtown Los Angeles.
A shared interest in sneakers brought Joshua Cooper and Laurence Chandler together while attending Pace University together. The native New Yorkers and self-taught designers started in the fashion business selling graphic T-shirts until they founded their menswear line Rochambeau, the French version of the "rock-paper-scissors" game, in 2007.
You may remember seeing Stampd for the first time back in 2013, when Miley Cyrus wore a "West Coast" crop top and "Dope" one-piece swimsuit in her video for "We Can't Stop." But Chris Stamp, who founded Stampd five years ago, has evolved the Los Angeles streetwear label into a full-fledged lifestyle brand, along with an athleisure partnership with Puma.