Get to know the winners of the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund
Ahead, three names you should keep on your radar
In 2003, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) began a collaboration with Vogue to organise an annual competition to scout and mentor the brightest of emerging American design talent. Dubbed the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund (CVFF), the programme grants its winner monetary prizes, and business mentoring from CFDA members and Vogue editors.
After a series of challenges and careful deliberation by a panel of judges—which included Nicole Phelps, director of Vogue Runway; Eva Chen, head of fashion partnerships at Instagram; Roopal Patel, senior vice president and fashion director at Saks Fifth Avenue; and Joseph Altuzarra, fashion designer and alumni of CVFF—Telfar was awarded the top prize of $400,000, while Chromat and Ahlem both took home $150,000 as runners-up.
Congratulations to the winners! Get to know them here:
Telfar, a unisex label described by its creator as "horizontal, democratic and universal" was founded by Telfar Clemens in 2005. From its inception, Clemens has coined "Simplexity" as his own take on being simultaneously conceptual and accessible. From showing collections through viral mock-reality videos and using a crowdsourcing app to let fans help design a collection, to collaborating with some of the most relevant artists, musicians, and brands, the New York-based label has drilled into the fashion landscape with an unrelenting lance of social awareness in the 21st century.
Most recently, the designer worked directly with White Castle to create a brand new uniform for all the employees at 400 White Castle locations nationwide. Growing up a block away from the hamburger chain, Clemens holds many memories at the fast food joint dear—even going as far as to hold his fashion week afterparty at one of its branches. Soon after, Telfar unveiled a full range of collaborative streetwear items boasting various reworkings of the label's logo in combination with that of White Castle's. Most noteworthy, however, is that a hundred percent of the proceeds from the line will be donated to the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights—Liberty and Justice Fund that helps pay bail for young people held on Rikers Island.
Becca McCharen-Tran started with a background in architecture. From its founding days in 2010, Chromat has always employed a fusion of architecture, fashion and technology to produce garments that augment and enhance the body's performance through innovative design and cutting-edge technical fabrics. The result: Architectural swim and athletic wear designed for strong powerful women.
Chromat has often been applauded for its exemplary, diverse runway cast, which includes models of different ethnicities, genders, cultures and sizes. And their belief in democracy of dress extends beyond fashion week through their focus on empowering women, no matter their appearance, through perfectly fit garments for every body.
They began as exploratory doodles and ended up in the hands of Beyonce. Ahlem eyewear was started by French native and LA-dweller, Ahlem Manai-Platt in 2014. A beautifully designed store situated in Venice, LA speaks volumes of the designer's vision—French restraint coupled with a meticulously designed aesthetic that does not try too hard, very befitting of the laid-back locale.
Sourced from the best material suppliers and made by skilled artisans exclusively in Jura, France, the focus is on quality over quantity. Ahlem releases 13 new styles every six months and two to three frames every three months but all models are designed to gel in seamless continuity with the brand's full collection. Find multifaceted vintage acetates, retro styles with modern touches and a slew of celebrity fellow-fans when you shop Ahlem.