With a list of past winners that reads like a front row of New York fashion, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund has become an industry kingmaker. On Tuesday, Greg Chait’s L.A.-based cashmere label The Elder Statesman was crowned the latest winner before a crowd of fashion and Hollywood royalty.
The event marked the end of a grueling five-month process for the ten finalists, who included second-timers Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty of Suno; Sofia Sizzi of Giulietta; Greg Armas of Assembly New York; Justin Salguero, Daniel Silberman, and Alina Silberman of Illesteva; Andrea Lieberman of A.L.C.; Jennifer Fisher; and Wes Gordon. All of their trials, triumphs, and fumbles are chronicled over at Vogue.com.
Along with the $300,000 prize and priceless publicity, Chait joins an illustrious group of past winners, including Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang, and Joseph Altuzarra. For the runners-up, the judges looked to accessories this year, with $100,000 prizes curiously awarded to two deserving but hardly struggling choices: shoe designer and Vogue contributor Tabitha Simmons and jewelry designer Jennifer Meyer, whose husband Tobey Maguire was among the night’s Hollywood contingent.
The Fashion Fund has been supporting emerging designers with both mentoring and money since 2003.