While graduations are abounding in New York City, the class of 2023 for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund is just getting started. The ten finalists include Angelo Fabricio Urrutia of 4SDESIGNS; Colin LoCascio of Colin Locascio, Rachel Scott of Diotima, Kim Shui of Kim Shui, Kozaburo Akasaka of Kozaburo, Melitta Baumeister of Melitta Baumeister, Sami Miro of Sami Miro Vintage, Fletcher Kasell and Tanner Richie of Tanner Fletcher, Everard Best and Téla D’Amore of Who Decides War and Henry Zankov of Zankov. This year marks the program returning to its original format, which names one grand prize winner and two runners-up. The winner will be $300,000 and the other two runners-up $100,000 each. The program helps create meaningful business mentorships and a pathway to success for all finalists.
“Every year, I am astounded by how much talent we have in this country, with designers who are as wildly creative as they are sensitive to the world today. They’re not only imaginative but also strive to be thought leaders and community creators, reminding us that fashion can be meaningful to everyone. I’m delighted to say that this year’s ten CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists are all those things—and more. My congratulations to our class of 2023,” Anna Wintour, Chief Content Officer, Condé Nast and Global Editorial Director, Vogue, said in a release.
“It’s so important that the world sees this new generation of American designers… the talent in the united states is unparalleled in regards to creativity and diversity and, moreover, truly American… the CFDA/Vogue fashion fund shines an important and generous light on this,” Thom Browne, Chairman of the CFDA, said in a release.
Like many businesses in New York, young fashion brands faced shutting down for good following the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. Vogue established the program partly due to former Vogue market editor Meredith Melling who rallied support for the designers after learning of their struggles after 9/11, which resulted in human loss and business losses. In 2004 the first CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund was awarded to Jack McCollough, and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler. Other previous prize winners and runners-up include Christopher John Rogers, Kerby Jean-Raymond, Jonathan Cohen, and Emily Bode.
During the pandemic, an interim program mission was established A Common Thread repurposed for a two-year iteration A Common Thread. This will remain incorporated—to raise both awareness and needed funds for those in the American fashion community who have been impacted by COVID-19.
The selection committee gathers boldface names of the fashion industry including designers, retailers, journalists, talents, and business owners. This includes Steven Kolb of the CFDA, Vogue staffers Mark Holgate and Chioma Nnadi, Aurora James of Brother Vellies and the Fifteen Percent Pledge, Rool Patel of Saks Fifth Avenue, Eva Chen of Instagram, Sam Lobban of NordstromJWN, Paloma Elsesser, model and activist, Nick Molnar of Afterpay and The Next generation along with Wintour and Browne. This year’s financial support for the program comes from Afterpay, Instagram, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Vogue.
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