CFDA new talent shortlist announced

02 February 2010

New designer award alert! CFDA – the Council of Fashion Designers of America – is the top organisation in the States as far as fashwan is concerned (like our own British Fashion Council) and any new designer getting attention from this lot must be doing something right.

They’ve announced their shortlist of 12 new brands for their Fashion Incubator Award – a new initiative, which is basically their pick of the new generation. Taking home this prize will mean a great platform for any newcomer, brilliant publicity AND practical support – in the form of half-price rent on a Manhattan studio space. This last one is a tempting prospect for any designer, let alone a newbie without financial backers as rents in NY are even more eye-watering than those in London!

The designers are Alice Ritter, Bibhu Mohapatra, Prabal Gurung, Sophie Theallet, Rachel Dooley with Gemma Redux, Grant Krajecki of Grey Ant, Waris Ahluwalia of House of Waris, Joel Diaz with Jolibe, Alison Lewis with the Lewis label, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School, Yuvi Alpert and Danna Kobo of Ruby Kobo and Justin Giunta of Subversive Jewelry.

Sophie Theallet (top right) looks poised to be front runner for the award after coming top at the recent CDFA & Vogue Fashion Fund. The French-born seamstress set herself up with her own label in New York after working for years with uber brands Azzedine Alaia and Jean Paul Gaultier. Her feminine floaty dresses have made her a firm favourite with the likes of Michelle Obama already.

Alice Ritter (second row, left) is becoming better and better known for her edgy-beautiful separates and tough-girl styling, while Indian-born Bibhu Mohapatra’s (second row, right) designs are influenced by the sumptuous colours and textiles of his home country, resulting in a sporty yet feminine look. He learned his skills designing for Halston after graduating from design college FIT.

Prabal Garung (top centre) is already a name to known among editors – his draped dresses thrilled the FROW at the NY S/S ’10 collections, Demi Moore and Carey Mulligan are both fans. Grey Ant (top left) are a cool LA-based brand designed by Grant Krajecki – printed colourful minidresses and rompers put us in mind of Londoners like Peter Pilotto and Basso and Brooke.

House of Waris, designed by Waris Ahluwalia, purveys more than charming charm necklaces and jewellery that keep popping up in shoots in all magazines everywhere. Jolibe make lovely silky party dresses and Public School are a New York brand making menswear for a very hip younger customer.

Grazia Daily would like to wish the candidates good luck one and all. We know how hardcore you need to be (in addition to talented, that is) to make it in the biz we call fashion, but we’re glad that newcomers continue to make the effort, so we can carry on writing about (and occasionally even buying) exciting new looks! Hurrah!

- Naomi Attwood










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