The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund is like "Shark Tank" for a group of young sartorial talents looking to become big-name designers. But instead of investors and self-made billionaires, the competition is judged by a panel of top fashion executives and industry tastemakers — think Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg, Joseph Altuzarra, Eva Chen and Paloma Elsesser. At stake is a $400,000 prize and mentorship from established designers and industry experts. (Two runners up will also take home $150,000 each.)
Now in its 16th year, the program has helped jumpstart many significant fashion careers, including those of past winners such as Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang, Altuzarra, Telfar and most recently, Pyer Moss.
On Monday afternoon, the 2019 shortlist was revealed, and it's full of buzzy brands like Collina Strada, Alejandra Alonso Rojas and Barragán, along with lesser-known names that we're sure to become more familiar with soon.
"Our ten finalists are a true reflection of American fashion – and the world – today, speaking to creativity, community and sustainability," said Anna Wintour in an official press statement. "They are following in the footsteps of so many wonderful talents who've come before them, and I look forward to seeing what our class of 2019 will do in the months to come."
Over the course of the next few weeks, members of the selection committee will meet regularly with the chosen designers to review their current collections, conduct in-depth interviews and visit their design studios. The winner and two runners-up will be announced at a gala dinner featuring a runway show of the finalists' looks, which will be held in New York City on Nov. 4.
See below for the full list of finalists, and stay tuned through the fall for more CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund developments. Congrats to the very deserving class of 2019!
Abasi Rosborough (menswear), Abdul Abasi and Greg Rosborough
Alejandra Alonso Rojas (women's read-to-wear), Alejandra Alonso Rojas
Barragán (men's and women's ready-to-wear), Victor Barragan
Christopher John Rogers (women's read-to-wear), Christopher John Rogers
Collina Strada (women's ready-to-wear), Hillary Taymour
Danielle Frankel (bridal), Danielle Hirsch
Lou Dallas (women's ready-to-wear), Raffaella Hanley
Private Policy (men's and women's ready-to-wear), Siying Qu and Haoran Li
Reese Cooper (menswear), Reese Cooper
Tre By Natalie Ratabesi (women's ready-to-wear), Natalie Ratabesi