CFDA Winners Announced, We Wonder What Role The Winners' Social Status Plays
The Vogue Fashion Fund, a 9-year-old program that both mentors and provides cash for budding designers, partnered with the CFDA this past week to celebrate Seventh Avenue’s next generation of designers. The annual dinner event was chock full of well-dressed party goers and some of the fashion world’s most elite, including Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour and Burberry’s CCO Christopher Bailey.
Out of the 10 finalists considered for the award, designer Greg Chait was this year’s big winner. Chait, a former stylist, is the creator of the ultra luxe knitwear-based collection, The Elder Statesmen. The collection includes richly colored cashmere and wool cardigans, lush blanket scarves, hoodies for the fashion forward, cozy sweaters and gloves. In addition to the recognition, Chait received a whopping $300K from the fund.
The CFDA also named two runners up: Tabitha Simmons and Jennifer Meyer. Both took home $100K.
Simmons, who hails from England and now lives in NYC, is a shoe designer whose speciality includes soaring heels, boots, heeled sandals and evening shoes. She’s the wife to well-known photographer Craig McDean. She’s also a stylist, model and regular contributor to Vogue. Her shoes have an almost steam-punk-meets-modern-woman vibe to them.
While Chait works with cashmere and wool and Simmons does shoes, Meyer’s specialty is all things jewelry. Meyer, who is married to actor Tobey Maguire, works with fine metals and has a minimalistic, classic aesthetic. Her set of baubles can be found at Barney’s and includes sweet pendant necklaces, alphabet-inspired pieces and gemstone-infused earrings.
While we agree their work is impressive, it’s worth noting that all three winners are either closely connected to celebrities or are celebrities themselves. For example, Chait’s been rumored to have dated Selma Blair and in early years interned with music legend Whitney Houston. He’s also been seen with the Olsen twins and actress Laura Ramsey. Simmons’ relationship with Vogue is not to be dismissed, nor is Meyer’s marriage with big time actor Tobey Maguire.
We can’t help but wonder how much of a role their social ranking played in the CFDA’s final decision — can you?
Mirela, founder of The Stylish City, puts it eloquently: “While I don’t want to pass judgment and say that this is the only reason they won, it is becoming increasingly evident that in this business it is impossible to make it unless you are some kind of celebrity.”
She asks, what does this say about the fashion world itself? We urge you to share your thoughts.
By Wendy Rose Gould
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