The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and Vogue announced the recipients of the ninth annual awards from the CFDA/VogueFashion Fund (CVFF). The winner and runners-up are:

Greg Chait of The Elder Statesman

Tabitha Simmons
Jennifer Meyer Maguire

The winner and runners-up will each meet regularly with an assigned business mentor, based on their specific needs for business expertise and resources; meetings will take place on a monthly or as-needed basis.

Additionally, the winner and runners-up will receive cash prizes—$300,000 for the winner and $100,000 for each of the runners-up. The cash awards are designed to encourage and enable these emerging designers to pursue their design plans. The program has now granted $2.8 million in total to twenty-four design companies, including 3.1 Phillip Lim, Albertus Swanepoel, Alexander Wang, Billy Reid, Derek Lam, Doo.Ri, Eddie Borgo, Joseph Altuzarra, Monique Péan, Patrik Ervell, Philip Crangi, Prabal Gurung, Proenza Schouler, Rodarte, Rogan, Sophie Theallet, Thakoon, Thom Browne, and Vena Cava.

The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund is generously sponsored by partner J.CREW, underwriters American Express, Appleman Foundation, Carolina Herrera, Coach Foundation, Nordstrom,THECORNER.COM /YOOX Group, Theory, Tiffany & Co., Tommy Hilfiger, W Hotels andVogue. In addition, for 2012 the Fund has added 4 new underwriters; kate spade new york, Neiman Marcus, The Limited Stores, and The Ralph Bartel Foundation.

On hand at Center 548 to celebrate the achievement of this year’s winners and honorees were an array of iconic American designers, including CFDA President Diane von Furstenberg as well as Chelsea Clinton, who introduced  keynote speaker Christopher Bailey. Bailey spoke movingly about his upbringing in Yorkshire England and his journey in fashion to arrive at his current position as the chief creative officer of Burberry. He was joined by actress Emma Stone, who presented the awards to the winners.  Former CVFF winners and runners-up in attendance included Joseph Altuzarra, Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough, Prabal  Gurung, Pamela Love, Thakoon Panichgul, Billy Reid and Alexander Wang. Other notables included Dakota Fanning, Miranda Kerr, Ashley Greene, Allison Williams, Alexa Chung, Tory Burch, Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, Karlie Kloss, Jourdan Dunn, Arizona Muse, Seth Meyers, Shala Monroque, Christina Ricci, Carolyn Murphy, Coco Rocha, Liv Tyler, Liya Kebede, Tobey Maguire, Tommy Hilfiger, Carolina Herrera, Victor Cruz, David Byrne, Lauren Santo Domingo, Humberto Leon, Elettra Rossellini-Wiedemann, Chanel Iman, Alejandro Ingelmo, Caroline Issa, Olivier Theyskens, Marina Rust, Peter Som, Hannah Bronfman, Vanessa Traina, Caroline Trentini, Vera Wang, Nate Lowman, Christina Ricci, Richard Chai, Sophie Theallet, Margherita Missoni, Jaime Johnson and Derek Lam among others.

The winner and runners-up were presented with specially commissioned bronze awards created by sculptor Rachel Feinstein. The winner received a swan with its neck tucked delicately under its wing, a design inspired by a Cesar de Santo reproduction of the lost Leonardo Da Vinci painting Leda and the Swan. The two runners-up each received a bronze egg, also crafted by the artist, as part of their award.

On October 2, 2012, “The Fashion Fund” premiered exclusively on For the second year in a row, the six-part original series was produced by Break Thru Films and directed by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg.  The series offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the Fund and the lives of the ten finalists as they make their way through the competition.

The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund was established in 2003 to help emerging American design talent find continued success in the business of fashion.  From the 133 that were received, the CVFF Selection Committee selected ten finalists, whose names were announced in July 2012.  They are:

Andrea Lieberman, A.L.C.
Greg Armas, Assembly New York
Sofia Sizzi, Giulietta
Justin Salguero, Daniel Silberman & Alina Silberman, Illesteva
Jennifer Fisher, Jennifer Fisher Jewelry
Jennifer Meyer Maguire, Jennifer Meyer
Max Osterweis & Erin Beatty, Suno
Tabitha Simmons, Tabitha Simmons
Greg Chait, The Elder Statesman
Wes Gordon, Wes Gordon

“The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund is an investment in the future,” said CFDA CEO Steven Kolb. “It is not only about recognizing new talent. It is all about building businesses that will help create jobs and strengthen our industry overall.”

The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund also provides ongoing mentorship and support to all of the finalists through its Business Advisory Committee. The resource is for guidance and targeted feedback on these designers’ future potential and growth in the business.

New to the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Selection Committee are CFDA member and designer Derek Lam and Ken Downing, Senior VP/ Fashion Director at Neiman Marcus. The members of the 2012 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Selection Committee are:

Ken Downing, Senior VP/ Fashion Director, Neiman Marcus
Derek Lam, Designer, Derek Lam
Mark Holgate, Fashion News Director, VOGUE
Jeffrey Kalinsky, President, JEFFREY and Executive Vice President, NORDSTROM
Steven Kolb, CEO, CFDA
Reed Krakoff, President, Executive Creative Director, COACH
Jenna Lyons, Executive Creative Director, J.CREW
Andrew Rosen, President and Founder, THEORY
Diane von Furstenberg, President, CFDA
Anna Wintour, Editor in Chief, VOGUE

The members of the 2012 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Business Advisory Committee are:

Rodrigo Bazan, President,  ALEXANDER WANG
Daniella Vitale, EVP, Chief Merchant, BARNEYS NEW YORK
Tom Murry, President & CEO, CALVIN KLEIN;
Caroline Brown, President, CAROLINA HERRERA
Paula Sutter, President, DIANE VON FURSTENBERG
Diego Scotti, Chief Marketing Officer,  J.CREW
Wen Zhou, President & CEO, 3.1 PHILLIP LIM
Ralph Bartel, Investor, RALPH BARTEL FAMILY
Linda Heasley, President & CEO,  THE LIMITED
Andrew Rosen, President & COO, THEORY LLC
Federico Marchetti, Founder & CEO, YOOX GROUP

To be eligible for the CVFF, an applicant must: 1) have a primary design business in the United States that has been in existence for a minimum of two consecutive years; 2) be a designer of demonstrable talent, as evidenced through substantial and recent editorial coverage, and have support (i.e., orders) from key retailers; and 3) have professional staff (paid and volunteer) that can devote the time and effort required to accomplish the stated aims of an applicant’s design career plans.


The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund was established to help emerging American design talent find continued success in the business of fashion. It is expected that the awards (in 2010, raised to $300,000 for the winner and $100,000 each to two runners-up) will be used to further develop each designer’s business in such areas as marketing, public relations, production and sales. In addition to the cash prizes, the award also includes mentorship from an esteemed group of industry professionals whose expertise is tailored to the designers’ needs and future goals. Past mentors include Howard Socol, Rose Marie Bravo, Millard “Mickey” Drexler, Mark Lee, Maureen Chiquet and Domenico de Sole.

Since its inception in 2003, the program has granted $2.8 million to twenty-four design companies, including winners Joseph Altuzarra, Billy Reid, Alexander Wang, Doo.Ri, ProenzaSchouler, Rogan, Sophie Theallet, Trovata, and runners-up Pamela Love, Creatures of the Wind, Eddie Borgo, Prabal Gurung, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Albertus Swanepoel, Derek Lam, Monique Péan, PatrikErvell, Philip Crangi, Rodarte, Thakoon, Thom Browne, and Vena Cava.

In 2007, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund created a separate Business Advisory Committee to review the applications of the ten CVFF Finalists (independently of the Selection Committee) with the intent of providing a more focused business perspective and targeted feedback on the designers’ future potential in the business. The Business Advisory Committee will also be available to the seven finalists (who are not chosen as a winner / runner-up) as an on-going resource for mentoring, questions & answers and guidance.