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CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund

Well, we’d hate to say we told you so, but Paul Andrew has been a winner in our eyes since his feminine, edgy collection for Spring ’14 hit our floors. Color us just plain extra happy then, that the footwear genius was awarded the CFDA’s highest honor this week in New York. On the occasion of this Very Big Deal, we spoke to the designer himself as well as the in-house tastemaker who knows his work best. 

“As you can imagine, I’m on cloud nine right now,” Paul Andrew told us. “I’m so excited and so proud to receive this accolade. It is such an incredible honor and an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. This is literally a dream come true. The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund program has put so many small designers on the map, it has not sunk in that I am now part of that class. To the shoe obsessives of the world, I say ‘stay tuned’! There is much more coming from Paul Andrew; I have ambitions to launch a men’s collection, e-commerce, and am looking to further elaborate on the core offering in my women’s collection, and while there is significant work to be done and much more focus and energy required I could not be more motivated.”

“Our attraction to Paul Andrew stems from his unique designs, which embody both a sexy refinement and focus on fit and comfort. He is genuinely engaged in making women look and feel good,” said John Langston from our designer shoe team. “We’re eager to see the momentum behind his creative direction, lending credibility to his new must-haves in seasons to come.”

SHOP: Paul Andrew

Congratulations to the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund 2013 finalists, who were just announced earlier this month. As an underwriter of the program for seven years, we’re proud to be a part of the Fashion Fund, which provides financial support and business mentorship to emerging designers.

(Image courtesy of the CFDA)

The winner(s) will be announced November 11 at a gala dinner, after a careful review process by the Selection Committee. This year, the committee welcomes Marcus Wainright and David Neville of rag & bone. Also on the committee is Jeffrey Kalinksy, our EVP of Designer, who had this to say about the experience:

“I absolutely love being a judge. I learn so much every year, not only from my fellow judges and the process but also from the nominees. This year’s nominees are very creative; it’s a strong group.”

Here are the 10 finalists:
Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne | Public School
Jason Jones and Mike Feldman | Parabellum
Juan Carlos Obando | Juan Carlos Obando
Marc Alary | Marc Alary
Misha Nonoo | Nonoo
Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin | TOME
Shimon Ovadia and Ariel Ovadia | Ovadia & Sons
Tim Coppens | Tim Coppens
Todd Snyder | Todd Snyder
Veronica Swanson Beard and Veronica Miele Beard | Veronica Beard

Good news: You have a few weeks left to shop our exclusive CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund boutiques. The in-store pop-up shops, which will remain open through May 31, are located at six Nordstrom stores, in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and New York (find exact locations and more info here). You can also check the availability of items by contacting a Designer Specialist via Live Chat, or by calling 1.877.543.7463 (note the item codes under each photo below).

Inspired by the likes of awesome up-and-coming designers including Wes Gordon, Greg Chait of the Elder Statesman, Andrea Lieberman of A.L.C. and more, we grabbed a few favorites off the racks at our flagship store and took to the streets of Seattle to photograph them. Enjoy the results below, along with commentary by Sahar Sokhandan from our designer collections buying office:

A.L.C. “The ultimate downtown look, pairing our favorite striped tee back to the perfect fit-and-flare skirt in bordeaux leather.”
[Top: 4138NV / Skirt: 3035LR / Shop more from A.L.C.]
[Intro image at top—Illesteva Sunglasses: L2-14 / Shop similar hats]

Wes Gordon. “Sexy without the fuss! A fabulous, updated, Nancy Reagan-esque red pantsuit.”
[Top: 6542CST / Pants: 6638CST]

Assembly New York. “It’s a 1970s revival in this light denim top with wide-leg pants.”
[Top: AZYW105 / Pants: AZYW120]

Giulietta. “Sophistication and ease in this coral wool-crepe dress.”
[Dress: GS13101]

Assembly New York. “The perfect mini long-sleeved dress that’s easy and comfortable, in denim backed with jersey and unfinished edges along the collar and cuffs.”
[Dress: AZYW108]

The Elder Statesman. “The ultimate West Coast girl, layered up in this ultra-luxe cashmere pullover and cashmere dress.”
[Sweater: DKS12CUSTO / Dress: KSDR12CUSTO]

Suno. “Striking, one-of-a-kind blue-and-red etched floral tracksuit.”
[Jacket: W3207 / Tunic: W1406 / Pants: W5396]

Illesteva Sunglasses & Jennifer Fisher Jewelry. “Ultra-cool with these graphic, patterned sunglasses from Illesteva paired back to Fisher’s stacked geometric rings and rivet bracelet.”
[Illesteva Sunglasses: L2-15B / Jennifer Fisher Ring Set: GEO / Jennifer Fisher Cuff: RIVET]


For blog coverage of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund judging process and more, click here.
And for more exclusive fashion photography, visit us on Tumblr.


[Photography: Charlie Schuck. Styling: Ashley Helvey. Model: Miranda Albright.]

Our long-awaited CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Boutique opens in six stores on Monday, and we couldn’t be more excited. The temporary shop will be filled with selected items from all 10 Fashion Fund designers, including winner Greg Chait of The Elder Statesman, who scored a cool $300,000 to fuel his business. Check out just-published stories on the boutique in Vogue, Glamour and WWD (subscription required).

We snapped a few of our favorite items from the boutique, which will pop up in the following Nordstrom stores: Seattle, San Francisco Centre, The Grove in Los Angeles, Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago, NorthPark Center in Dallas and treasure&bond in New York. The action starts Feb. 11 and goes until May 31—we recommend showing up sooner than later for the best selection. Click here for more information on the 2012 designers and past winners.








- Mary O’Regan

New York’s fashion crowd headed to our treasure&bond store in SoHo for an intimate evening to celebrate the 10 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists. This special boutique presentation toasted the next generation of American fashion, which included:

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 (winner)
Wes Gordon, Wes Gordon

Starting Monday, you’ll be able to snag items from these very talented finalists for the first time when you visit one of our 6 pop-up shops, opening in Nordstrom stores in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles (The Grove), Chicago and Dallas (Northpark), as well as in New York’s  treasure&bond store.

Jeffrey Kalinsky (center), Nordstrom’s EVP of Designer, is part of the Fund’s judging committee and shared why he’s proud to be involved. “Nordstrom has been a sponsor of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund for seven years. We were one of the first big stores to get involved with the fund, kind of early on. I’m really proud to be part of a store that felt it was very important to support emerging creativity in the United States.”

Steven Kolb, the CFDA’s Chief Executive Officer, discussed the impact of our partnership and how it furthers the the Fund’s goals. “Fashion Fund is really an industry movement to further the success of American fashion. Particularly with Nordstrom, Jeffrey has such a great insight into talent and what sells. He has brought this experience to his work on the committee,” said Kolb, who is pictured right with Jeffrey.

“What we love especially is the evolution of Nordstrom’s relationship with the Fashion Fund. This pop-up shop now brings another type of experience and lessons learned on dealing with delivery, buyers and merchandising. It’s really bringing the skill and knowledge that Nordstrom has and sharing it with people who need it and want it.”

The Fashion Fund was established to help emerging American design talent develop their business in the areas of marketing, public relations, production and sales as well as offer a tailored mentorship from industry luminaries.

“You learn so much from all the judges. To be judged by such great, established industry giants is invaluable,” said Tabitha Simmons (pictured left), who cited Jeffrey as the one who pushed her the most during this experience. “Jeffrey was so brilliant, and he really gave me his honest opinion about my brand and business.”

Jewelry designer Jennifer Meyer Maguire (wife to actor Tobey Maguire, pictured right) is being mentored by Diane von Furstenberg. “The other nine designers were some of the nicest and talented people I have ever met in my life. Being able to work with them and watch their process was truly inspiring.”

“Getting to know people that you normally wouldn’t get the chance to know was a highlight of this experience,” added accessories designer Jennifer Fisher, pictured above, who said she counts Andrea Lieberman of A.L.C. and Jennifer Meyer as her new close friends. “The process was like a sorority rush. We had to go through everything together, and then you come out and it’s like a big reunion. I feel like I am seeing everyone from camp.”

–Qianna Smith

Congratulations to Greg Chait of the Elder Statesman for winning this year’s $300,000 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Prize! Not to mention the runners-up–Tabitha Simmons and Jennifer Meyer Maguire—who will each receive $100,000. We couldn’t be happier for the winning trio and all the nominees; we’re so excited to see what’s in store for these talented, up-and-coming designers!

See all of our CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund coverage, including designer shows and video.

Time for a field trip to Los Angeles for the 10 designers, where it’s all about a celeb-filled runway show at Chateau Marmont styled entirely by Vogue.

Don’t miss checking back next week—the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund 2012 winners will finally be revealed!

Episode 5 of The Fashion Fund: Tiffany & Co. Challenge. The finalists are given six weeks to create new looks inspired by Breakfast at Tiffany’s or The Great Gatsby. The result? We get to see some fresh and gorgeous designs–not to mention a $10K pair of sunglasses.

Which is your favorite so far?

Episode 4 of The Fashion Fund brings the judges into the final 10 designers’ studios and showrooms for a little one-on-one time. The designers also receive their first challenge after seeing themselves and their work published in the November issue of Vogue–enough to make anyone swoon!

The final 10 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists, photographed by Peter Linbergh for Vogue.

Let’s catch up with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund’s journey to select the next lucky designer to win its prestigious award this November. Season 2 is on a roll with 3 of 7 episodes already live, which follow the 10 finalists and the panel of judges—some of fashion’s most influential personalities—who are going to have to make one tough decision.

Episode 1: Introductions & Finalists
Vogue takes us through the Fashion Fund’s previous winners and the importance of this program for young and up-and-coming designers.

Out of hundreds of designers, 50 were invited to submit official applications to be reviewed by this year’s judges panel, comprised of a handful of fashion’s heavy-hitters, including Anna Wintour, Reed Krakoff, Diane von Furstenberg and our own EVP of Designer, Jeffrey Kalinsky.

Find out which 10 designers made the cut.

Episode 2: One-on-One with the Judges
Each of the finalists gets a quick—but important—15 minutes to show off their collections and personality to the judges. Nervous designers strut their stuff, and a lot of poker faces ensue.

Episode 3: New York Fashion Week
The finalists get snapped by photog Peter Linbergh for the Vogue November issue before debuting their spring 2013 collections to the world in New York City.

Check back next Tuesday for episode 4, when the designers face a new challenge and a studio visit from the judges. Who are you rooting for so far?