When the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund was created in 2004 to recognize emerging designers positively impacting the American fashion scene, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez were announced as the winners of the inaugural award.
It came as little surprise: the Parsons School of Design graduates are the masterminds behind Proenza Schouler, a womenswear and accessories brand that has since grown into a globally acclaimed fashion house.
In the ensuing years, Parsons — a leading art and design school that has graduated countless acclaimed designers — has continued to dominate the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund. Numerous alumni have been nominated and won the prestigious prize.
This year is no different: Matthew Adams Dolan, MFA Fashion Design and Society ’14, Emily Bode, BFA Fashion Design and BA Philosophy ’13, Jonathan Cohen, BFA Fashion Design ’09 and Sarah Leff, BBA Strategic Design & Management ’09, and Rebecca de Ravenel, AAS Fashion Design ’05, were among the 10 designers announced as finalists for the award.
They were chosen by a panel of judges including Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg, Steven Kolb, Andrew Rosen, Mark Holgate, Nicole Phelps, Roopal Patel, Jeffrey Kalinsky, Eva Chen, and Joseph Altuzarra.
Over the next couple of months, judges will meet with each finalist in their studio and review their current collections, leading to a winner and two runners up being named at a November 5 fashion show and gala in New York. The winner will receive $400,000, while the runners up will take home $150,000 each. All winners will also receive a year of mentorship from CFDA designers and fashion executives.
When announcing this year’s finalists, CFDA President Steven Kolb said “For the past 15 years, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund has transformed American fashion by creating a path for emerging designers to find success in the business of fashion. The program has had global impact and inspired other fashion capitals to put a focus on emerging talent.”