It’s always an exciting time when the gurus of the fashion world congregate together under one roof; the outfits are fascinatingly wonderful, and the event décor always seems to ooze as much style and grace as the guests, and this years CFDA/ Vogue Fashion Fund dinner was no exception.
The annual event, which celebrates the organisation’s support for future generations of American fashion, went off without a hitch, and those who attended looked as if they had just paraded off the runway themselves. Guests included the Queen of Vogue, Anna Wintour, renowned designer Diane von Furstenberg, and an ensemble of famous models, designers and musicians.
The CFDA, or Council of Fashion Designers of America Inc., is a not-for-profit trade organisation that was founded in 1962. In 2003, the council started an annual competition for promising American fashion designers to showcase their designs to be in with a chance of winning a prize of $400,000 and expert industry mentoring.
Since its conception, the competition has granted over $5.9 million to over 35 design companies, including many stylists we know and love today like Alexander Wang and Altuzarra. Earlier on in the year, the Selection Committee met with all the finalists to review their current collections, conduct in-depth interviews and inspect their design studios. This years finalists were:
MATEO NEW YORK
Credit: Getty Images and WireImage (L) Imman Hammam (C) Diane von Furstenberg and Anna Wintour (R) Sara Sampaio
After months of studio visits, the fashion industry’s finest all gathered at the Weylin, Brooklyn’s historic savings bank to announce this year’s winner and runners up. The event began with candlelit cocktails and passionate speeches and concluded with everybody celebrating, socialising and congratulating this year’s winner… (drum roll please) Telfar!
Telfar Clemens, the young designer from Queens, founded the unisex fashion line in 2005. The vibrant and modish designs, which were clearly a hit with the CDFA panel, previously graced the runway at the New York Fashion Show earlier this year.
Although the designs themselves are super current and stylish, it was Telfar’s unique and original ‘genderless’ concept that ensured he stood out from the list of finalists. Clemens brand slogan ‘it’s not for you- it’s for everyone’ is a refreshing and relevant statement, at a time when issues to do with race, gender and size are prevalent. We can all expect to see some fabulous creations from Telfar in the near future!
Credit: Vogue and Getty Images (C) Telfar Clemens
“It’s been a hard and rough road – I’m taking this back to Queens”
Check out Telfar’s Autumn/ Winter 2017 collection here!
One of this year’s runners up was Ahlem, the designer eyewear brand created by Ahlem Manai-Platt in April 2014. The native Parisian has gathered a loyal following by incorporating a range of timeless designs and styles with reliable and durable materials. Ahlem is devoted to her French heritage; so much so that she ensures each of her tastefully chic sunglasses are handmade in France.
The gorgeous frames have perfect transparency allowing for undistorted vision, and Cridal lenses, which have an excellent resistance to the stress of cracking. Ahlem has created such a varied range of eyewear that it would be almost impossible NOT to find a pair that suits your personality and style.
Credit: Ahlem Eyewear
“I really pay attention to every detail. I wanted my collection to represent the real Paris, a city that isn’t defined by brands or trends, but rather by the people”
– Ahelm Manai-Platt
Check out Ahlem’s new arrivals here!
Another one of this year’s runners up, and a personal favorite of mine, was Chromat. The beautiful and modern swimwear, sportswear and lingerie designs are the work of Chromat’s founder, Becca McCharen-Tran, who established the brand in 2010. McCharen has a background in architectural design and so has drawn on her experience to create some truly wonderful pieces using cutting-edge technical fabrics.
Chromat designs are focused on ‘empowering women of all shapes and sizes through perfectly fitting garments for everyone’, and so it’s no surprise that some of the world’s strongest and most vibrant women, which include the likes of Beyonce, Madonna, Tyra Banks and Nicki Minaj, have amazed audiences wearing Chromat’s designs. The innovative fashion designer has encountered a lot of success over the years after being featured in Vogue, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and many more. It’s safe to say that Chromat hasn’t reached its potential yet, and has a bright future ahead!
“Chromat has always been built for strong, powerful women, and we’re really inspired by female athletes who push both their bodies and their sport to the extreme. We wanted to create garments that could do work for the body”
Check out Chromat’s Autumn/ Winter 2017 collection here!
If you are an American designer attempting to make your mark on the fashion industry, click here and you will be directed to the official CFDA site, where you can find all the information there is to help you be in with a chance of winning the incredible prize next year!