“This is a great way for designers to not only be discovered, but nurtured. – Anna Wintour
Welcome to The Fashion Fund. A design competition like no other that premiered last night on the Ovation Network. It has been garnering quite the buzz, due to the fact that Anna Wintour is one of the judges. The show goes behind the scenes of the CFDA and Vogue Fashion Fund competition. Each year, the judges choose one winner from 50 designers. The winner receives $300,000 and of course the prestigious honor of being named the winner. Judging the designers with Anna are Diane von Furstenberg, Ken Downing (Senior Vice President and Fashion Director for Neiman Marcus), Jenna Lyons (President and Executive Creative Director of J.Crew), Steven Kolb (CEO of the CFDA), and Marcus Wainwright and David Neville of Rag and Bone. Now that you have the background, let’s jump into my review of episode one.
The first episode focused on the designers presenting their portfolio and the selection process of the 10 finalists. Designers must first submit a portfolio to be considered. The portfolio, forces the designer to think about the way they want to present their brand. You really get a sense of who the designers are through the presentation of their portfolio. Once the designers are narrowed down to 50, the panel of judges meet to discuss who they feel should make it to the final 10.
“We are looking for something definable that says he or she is a star” – Anna Wintour
The judges are looking for serious, focused designers. Not that other designer competition show contestants aren’t serious, but these designers reviewed by the judges have to have be in business for 2+ years, AND prove they are able to run a successful business. I also love the fact that it’s about all designers: women’s wear, men’s wear, and accessories. The judges are looking for greatness, no matter the area of the designer’s focus. During the discussion of who should make the final 10, the judges carefully and thoughtfully considered the pros and cons of not only the designers craftsmanship, but also their unique qualities and brand identity. In the end, out of all the applicants, only 10 could compete.
The final 10 chosen were
Misha Nonoo (of the label Nonoo) -Women’s Wear
Veronica Miele Beard and Veronica Swanson Beard (of Veronica Beard) -Women’s Wear
Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin (of Tome) -Women’s Wear
Juan Carlos Obando -Women’s Wear
Public School (by Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne) – Men’s Wear
Tim Coppens – Men’s Wear
Todd Snyder – Men’s Wear
Shimon and Ariel Ovadia of Ovadia & Sons – Men’s Wear
Parabellum – Accessories
Marc Alary – Accessories
At the announcement celebration, the designers were gushing over meeting Anna, but who can blame them! What an honor as a designer to meet someone who will have a huge impact on the shift of your career.
Check out this clip from last nights show on the importance of portfolios
Be sure to tune in next Wednesday for episode two. Check your local listings for OvationTV in your area.
Visit the blog next Thursday as I share my thoughts on episode two
Photo Credits Ovationtv.com and Style.Com