As some of you may know, our designer interviews for the Redress Spring 2014 Eco-fashion Show are this weekend! We are stoked to see the amazing creativity and talent who want to engage with this movement and reach our network with their awesome collections. We are always re-energized by the ideas and excitement each person brings.
Along similar lines, I have recently been obsessing over the show The Fashion Fund. Have any of you started watching this series? For all of you aspiring fashion designers and small business owners, I would think that watching this process and understanding the enormity of what high-level industry leaders think it takes to be successful in fashion would be very helpful.
The Fashion Fund (WARNING: SPOILERS!) is an endowment created by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and Vogue to “support the next generation of fashion designers”. Winners recieve $300,000 and mentoring from a team of industry professionals. Who wouldn’t want that?!
The competition is intense though, and The Fashion Fund series does a great job in emphasizing the amount of preparation expected not only for the designer’s ‘voice’ but on establishing a sustainable business, including the preliminary requirement of having been in business for 2 years and having had substantial editorial coverage and orders from top retailers.
No more than 100 candidates are selected to move on to Phase 2, which consists largely of a portfolio presentation and in-depth business information and reasons for applying for the fund. From those 100, 10 finalists are selected.
They then have to have models present 5 looks representing past, present, and future to a Selection Committee with the likes of Anna Wintour, Diane von Fürstenberg, Jenna Lyons (President and Executive Creative Director of J.Crew Group, Inc), Ken Downing (Senior Vice President and Fashion Director for Neiman Marcus), Steven Kolb (CEO of the CFDA), and Rag & Bone (an international fashion label and previous Fund winner), among others. They are also interviewed on the spot about their business goals, plan for the future, and motivations for applying. If that’s not intimidating enough, that all has to be done within a 15 minute time frame…..
And that’s just Phase 3. Phase 4 is a visit to the designer’s studios and there is a design challenge involved too. (I am slightly behind the timeline of the show, if you’re on track with all the episodes.)
No worries for this weekend’s Redress Spring Eco-fashion show applicants, our process is not quite this intense, though we do love ‘peeling back the layers to see who you really are’ - as Anna Wintour would say.
New episodes of The Fashion Fund are on Ovation TV every Wednesday at 10pm. You should watch, we will be!