If you’re as obsessed with Season 2 of The Fashion Fund as we are, then you probably have a favorite (or two!) and are dying to know what will ultimately drive the judges to pick their winner. For some insight into the minds of Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg, Jenna Lyons, and the other amazing judges, let’s look back at some of the previous years’ winners.
Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne (2012)
The 2013 Fashion Fund winners are the designers behind Public School, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne. The brand represents their New York upbringings and melds the high-brow and street-culture of the city that never sleeps. A few years earlier, in 2010, Public School was selected as part of the CFDA’s Fashion Incubator program. In 2014, Public School expanded into women’s wear.
Greg Chait (2012)
Greg Chait was considered an underdog until he won the 2012 Fashion Fund. His winning collection, The Elder Statesman, is founded on cashmere sweaters and custom blankets, but also includes knitted hats, ready-to-wear, accessories, home interiors and eyewear. His Fashion Fund win includes a mentorship with Chrome Hearts’ owners and designers Richard and Laurie Lynn Stark.
Joseph Altuzarra (2011)
Joseph Altuzarra won the 2011 Fashion Fund award with his women’s ready-to-wear brand Altuzarra. The very next year, he won the CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear Design. Since then, the French-born designer has appeared in both Forbes’ “30 Under 30” and Crain’s “40 Under 40.” In 2014, Altuzarra became the latest designer to collaborate with Target for a fashion-forward, budget-friendly collection.
Billy Reid (2010)
Alabama-based Billy Reid won the Fashion Fund Award in 2010, having previously been named the CFDA’s Best New Menswear Designer in 2001. In 2012, he was honored again as the CFDA’s Best Menswear Designer of the Year. Reid is known for his classic American style with laid-back, Southern trappings. Along with various Billy Reid shops across the country, Reid’s designs can be found in high-end department stores such as Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, and Bergdorf Goodman.
Sophie Theallet (2009)
Two years after launching her eponymous clothing label, French designer Sophie Theallet won the 2009 Fashion Fund Award and a mentorship with legendary fashion designer Oscar de la Renta. Ms. Theallet had previously worked under Jean-Paul Gaultier and for many years with Azzedine Alaia. Wow! In 2010, Theallet was one of the first to participate in the CFDA’s Fashion Incubator program, which provides living and studio space for select designers. Ms. Theallet’s esteemed clients include Jessica Alba, Vera Farmiga, and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Alexander Wang (2008)
At just 24, and only a year after presenting his first full women’s wear collection in New York, San Francisco-born designer Alexander Wang received the 2008 Fashion Fund Award. In the years since, the awards have continued to pile up for Wang. He was named CFDA’s Swarovski Womenswear Designer of the Year in 2009, received the Swiss Textiles Award in 2010, and in 2011 won GQ’s Best New Menswear Designer award. And it doesn’t stop there. In 2012, Wang became Creative Director at Balenciaga and is set to design a collection for H&M for 2014. Phew!
Rogan Gregory (2007)
Rogan Gregory impressed the judges of the 2007 Fashion Fund Award with his environmentally-conscious clothing line, Rogan. In the year following his victory, Gregory opened his first ever store in New York City and debuted a collection of organic women’s swim and casual wear for Target’s GO International series. Gregory also collaborated with U2’s Bono and his wife on a socially-conscious brand called Edun and has developed uniforms for companies like Chipotle. His commitment to social responsibility in his business is inspiring!
Doo-Ri Chung (2006)
Doo-Ri Chung took home the 2006 Fashion Fund Award for her label Doo.Ri. Like Fashion Fund judge Diane von Furstenberg, Chung is most widely known for her jersey dresses. The Korean-American designer’s aesthetic is partially influenced by dancer Martha Graham, which is evident in her unique, flowing drapery. In 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama wore one of Ms. Chung’s creations to a state dinner honoring the President of South Korea.
Be sure to catch a new episode of Ovation’s The Fashion Fund starring Anna Wintour, Wednesdays at 10PM ET.