Inspiration. Innovation. Imagination.
These are the pillars of the new CFDA + Lexus Fashion* Initiative, and today, CFDA and Lexus unveiled the program’s inaugural crop of finalists. They are Aurora James of Brother Vellies; Sara Beltran of Dezso by Sara Beltran; Erin Isakov of Erin Snow; Britt Cosgrove and Marina Polo of SVILU; Nicholas and Christopher Kunz of Nicholas K; Prabal Gurung; Katie DeGuzman and Michael Miller of K/LLER Collection, Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin of TOME; Wing Yin Yau of WWAKE, and Maria Cornejo of Zero + Maria Cornejo.
The initiative was established by the CFDA and Lexus with an eye to meaningful change in American fashion and elevating sustainability in apparel, jewelry, and accessories. This includes responsible sourcing, ethical manufacturing, supply chain transparency, scalable business strategies, and consumer literacies.
In 2017, the three brands that have most evolved to higher standards of sustainability and social responsibility will be crowned. The winner will receive a Grand Prize of $150,000, while the two runners-up will each take home $50,000.
The CFDA and Lexus assembled an impressive advisory board to guide the CFDA + Lexus Fashion * Initiative. In addition to Lexus’s Andrea Lim and CFDA’s Lisa Smilor and Sara Kozlowski, it features Amber Valletta/Master + Muse; Anna Scott Carter/Clean By Design; Barbara Burchfield/Conscious Commerce; Burak Cakmak and Timo Rissanen/Parsons School of Design; Debera Johnson, Pratt Intitute; Jason Kibbey/Sustainable Apparel Coalition; fashion consutant Julie Gilhart; Kristy Caylor/Maiyet; Lewis Perkins/Fashion Positive (C2C); Linda Greer/NRDC; Melissa Joy Manning; Natalie Chanin/Alabama Chanin; Olivia Wilde/Conscious Commerce; Robert Bergmann/Responsibility in Fashion; Scott Hahn/Loomstate; Shan Reddy/Redline Consulting; and Tyson Toussant/Bionic Yarn.
Over the next 17 months, the 10 finalists will participate in a virtual residency program. During that time, the designers will engage in workshops, field visits and mentorship opportunities.
— Marc Karimzadeh