Who Are the 2018 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalists?
Each year, the CFDA and Vogue partner up to help up-and-coming designers in the fashion industry with funding and mentorship opportunities. From hundreds of applicants, ten designers are selected and these promising candidates will go on to compete for three prizes. This year, the overall winner will walk away with $400,000 and the two runners-up will each get $150,000. In addition, the winners will each receive a year of mentorship from a prominent name in the fashion industry. Basically, this award has the ability to completely change a designer’s career.
“This year’s ten finalists will more than ably follow in the footsteps of those who have gone before them,” said Anna Wintour in a statement. “They’re not only talented, they’re engaged with a rapidly changing world, reflecting a whole new set of values and beliefs about what fashion can and should be.”
Past winners of the coveted prize include Alexander Wang and Joseph Altuzarra. Both have gone on to achieve success in the fashion industry.
This year’s top ten will now begin several months of meetings and design challenges in which they will be in constant contact with a panel of judges that include the likes of Anna Wintour and Diane von Furstenberg. But who exactly are these designers? Below we give you a little introduction.
Batsheva Hay, Batsheva
Founded in 2016, Batsheva is a ready-to-wear brand based out of New York that specializes in dresses. The retro pieces are unapologetically feminine and Hay often experiments with colour, prints and ruffles. She cites Laura Ashley as an inspiration and her delicate pieces often seem straight out of Little House on the Prairie (in the best way possible).
Emily Adams Bode, Bode
Despite a tendency to look to the future in fashion, Bode has decided to look back. Launched in 2016, Bode is unique in that it uses antique textiles, reimagined in modern ways. These repurposed materials might be vintage quilts, bed linens or even towels. Bode turns these unusual finds into tailored menswear pieces: button-down shirts, workwear trousers and jackets that you won’t find anywhere else.
Christian Cowan, Christian Cowan
When it comes to the Christian Cowan, this brand is all about having fun. The young designer has become a pretty big name in the industry, with celebrity clients like Lady GaGa and Miley Cyrus. Cardi-B, the Bronx rapper who skyrocketed to fame this year, even wore a graphic black and white trench coat from Cowan on the cover of her latest album, Invasion of Privacy. From fur, to fringe, to glitter, Cowan’s clothes make a bold statement and his fearlessness on the runway has garnered him a lot of attention.
Danielle Corona, Hunting Season
Founded in 2006, Hunting Season works directly with artisans from Colombia to help create each new collection. The line includes bags, belts and small leather goods. With a focus on construction and quality, Corona creates pieces that are both chic and timeless. The designer has a strong foundation underneath her, previously spending time at the Valentino accessory atelier. Celebrities like Amal Clooney, Sienna Miller and Gwyneth Paltrow have all been spotted sporting the brand.
Jonathan Cohen and Sarah Leff, Jonathan Cohen
Back in 2011, Jonathan Cohen was created and despite much business growth over the years, operations behind the brand have remained relatively small. Designer’s Cohen and Leff recently debuted their 2018 Fall/Winter collection which they revealed was inspired by the documentary, Grey Gardens. The playful collection brings florals into fall and features detailed embroidery and beading. The relaxed fits, which are meant to feel like a second skin, come a long way from the cocktail dresses the pair initally focused on when starting their brand.
Raul Lopez, Luar
This brand has been seen on a bunch of A-list celebs, from Kendrick Lamar to Solange Knowles, people flock to Luar for its unique voice and gender fluid clothing. Luar blends the downtown New York scene with Lopez’s Dominican heritage. The designer previously collaborated with Shayne Oliver on Hood By Air, but Luar is the designer’s chance to create something all on his own. Whether models are voguing down the runway or donning futuristic stilts, Lopez’s shows are always memorable.
Matthew Adams Dolan, Matthew Adams Dolan
This designer’s mother was an avid quilter and needleworker, and she’s clearly passed down her skills to her son. Matthew Adams Dolan specializes in quality construction. The level of craftsmanship is palpable in Dolan’s constructions, which often sees him manipulate casual denim and transform it into something completely unique. His creativity is what has earned him celebrity fans like Rihanna and SZA.
Kerby Jean-Raymond, Pyer Moss
This designer often uses his platform to discuss bigger social issues, telling Fashionista he wanted to establish Pyer Moss as “more of culture than a clothing brand.” During his Fall 2018 runway show, he enlisted the help of a gospel choir to sing uplifting anthems of black empowerment. This included the song “Alright” by rapper Kendrick Lamar, which has been linked to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Rebecca de Ravenel, Rebecca de Ravenel
In 2015 Rebecca de Ravenel launched her accessories brand and has been growing her following ever since. With a childhood spent between the Bahamas and Paris, you can see both fun, tropical elements and metropolitan elegance in her products. Recently, the designer branched out from her jewelry line, debuting a full ready-to-wear line last September.
Scosha Woolridge, Scosha
This Australian-born designer started making jewelry after being inspired from her travels through the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and South America. She launched her brand in 2007 with a bracelet inspired by a trip to India. Scosha includes both costume and fine jewelry and also offers bespoke items.