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On Monday night the fashion glitterati streamed into Spring Studios for a dinner to announce the winners of the annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Prize. After four months of multiple design challenges, a full-on runway show presided over by Kim and Kanye at the Chateau Marmont, and countless meetings with the likes of Anna Wintour and Diane von Furstenberg, the ten contestants were primed and ready for the results.
“Tonight is the night,” menswear designer Thaddeus O’Neil said (somewhat nervously) walking into the venue. He was greeted by Calvin Klein’s Francisco Costa who offered an encouraging pat on the back. Once inside there was a frenetic energy while designers, celebs, editors, and the like mingled with excitement. Riccardo Tisci chatted with von Furstenberg while waiting for Amanda Seyfried to finish taking photos in one of his cream colored lace slip dresses; Demi Moore clung to Zac Posen’s side; and Lake Bell cut a smashing figure in a white Calvin Klein sheath. Meanwhile, shoe designer George Esquivel, a 2009 finalist remarked how impactful this program is. “Whether you win or lose, this contest will definitely change your life,” he said. “It changed mine!”
After a dinner of chicken pot pie (a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund tradition) and a surprise performance by Andra Day, it was revealed that for the first time the competition had a three-way tie. Womenswear designer Jonathan Simkhai, Gypsy Sport’s Rio Uribe, and Brother Vellies’ sustainable shoe designer, Aurora James, all took home the grand prize of $300,000 plus a year of mentorship.
Earlier this year, Uribe predicted his win to Yahoo Style. “No one is left out of the Gypsy Sport brand. It includes everyone,” he said. “It’s the people’s brand and I think that people can recognize that. I have nothing against whoever else wins, but if Gypsy Sport wins, I think it’s just going to be the beginning of more of a connection with the consumer than a lot of other brands out there.” Kudos!