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The coveted CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund prize has an impressive list of past winners, including Alexander Wang, Altuzarra and Public School, so it was surprising to hear that at this year’s 12th annual awards, there was not one, but three winners announced.
Rather than award a single grand-prize winner the top prize of $400,000 and two runners-up $150,000, Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg, CFDA CEO Steven Kolb and the other members of the selection committee chose to award womenswear designer Jonathan Simkhai, shoe designer Aurora James of Brother Vellies and Rio Uribe of streetwear label Gypsy Sport each $300,000 to invest in their line. Each winner will also receive a year of mentoring from top industry executives.
According to Fashionista, the unconventional decision to evenly split the coveted top prize was made only hours before the event, which was held at New York City’s Spring Studios on Monday evening. “We decided it only this morning as we were voting…for this year only we would mix it up and acknowledge three winners,” Kolb told the trade.
Plenty of celebs turned up to support the up-and-coming designers, too, including budding style star Zendaya, supermodel Karlie Kloss and Demi Moore. Amanda Seyfried also accompanied Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci to the event, where the designer was honored as the inspirational designer of the year.
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