Introducing the Newest Recipients of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund


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A look into fashion's brightest future On Nov. 2, the 12th annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund competition announced three monumentally disparate, young and brilliant designers as honorees who will each receive a $300,000 award to use towards building their fashion businesses. This is the very first time in the competition's history that three designers have been selected in a single year for this huge award. CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Winners First, there is Jonathan Simkhai, a Scarsdale, New York native who designs his eponymous label with an uptown N.Y. vibe, but accentuates it with a distinctively masculine take on modern femininity. It's the type of contemporary cool that currently has every fashion editor salivating, and already has most of the silver screen stars wearing. Jonathan Simkhai Jonathan Simkhai Toronto-born Aurora James, who now resides in Brooklyn, carries such a humanistic approach in the way she hones her line of African-inspired shoes named Brother Vellies (she built her reputation off “vellies,” formally velskoens, a South African shoe that birthed the modern-day desert boot), that she now represents a supply-chain of local artisans throughout major cities in Africa — everywhere from Morocco to Nigeria, all the while bestowing the importance of education and empowerment with every visit. Her ethics are all about being transparency, responsibility, and accountability for what you leave behind, and it definitely shows in her shoes crafted with as many sustainable textiles as possible (she even once recycled old car tires as soles in an early version of the vellies). Brother Vellies Brother Vellies Then there's Rio Uribe of Gypsy Sport, the only California-based designer out of the trio who, incidentally, offers the most affordable label (prices range from $75 to $475). His collection was touted as “authentic” by fashion's very own sensei and legendary Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, and she speaks truth: through the midst of the eclectic, visceral, and culture-mashing vibes he has been effortlessly able to evoke with each retro-inspired piece, there is something inherently genuine about the way he approaches design. Gypsy Sport Gypsy Sport Each designer is so unlike the other, and brings to the fashion landscape an incredibly different offering, yet their unique visions are still able to be both commercially and artistically viable. In addition to the monetary award, they will also each receive the help of a seasoned fashion expert who will assist them in growing their respective businesses for one year. Judging from what they've been able to accomplish so far, there's no telling as to what new horizons they will forge in the years to come.   Words Brian Bui


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