Saturday, January 23, 2010

Friday the 13th

This past Friday may have actually read Friday, the 22nd on the calendar, but for one organization, it was indeed Friday the 13th (and in this case, I mean, lucky 13th). Fashion Group International held its 13th annual Rising Star Luncheon this past Friday, and it was one of the chicest, most festive, celebratory, and highly efficient in memory.

Each year it seems this annual event (a reception, luncheon, and awards ceremony which honors eight “outstanding individuals for their innovation, creativity, and accomplishments”), has become more and more prestigious, more high profile, and highly anticipated, and indeed, it’s become so popular, it was sold out this time around.

In addition, there were a few things that were new, and as it turns out, they were also ‘improved’ (from my point of view anyway). It has traditionally been held on a Thursday, but was moved to Friday, and this year, the venue of choice was the beautiful and very grand Cipriani 42nd Street. Let’s face it: it’s hard to find a space with more elegant ambience or such a central, convenient location. And of course, the food is always wonderful, with a menu that boasted sea bass, asparagus, and lemon meringue pie with mixed berries (ah, spring is in the air!)

FGI President Margaret Hayes made her welcoming remarks noting that the importance of this program is to “support Fashion Group’s mission to promote rising star talent”. She added, “I want to acknowledge the talent, skill, commitment, and fortitude that brought you (the nominees) to this amazing journey”.

The keynote speaker was Nina Garcia, fashion editor extraordinaire, and fashion director of Marie Claire, who is perhaps best known as one of the judges on ‘Project Runway’. Though she was fighting a cold, and seemed to be on the verge of losing her voice, she got through her rousing speech brilliantly, as she addressed the nominees, giving them a laundry list of pointers, tips, and good sound advice to keep in mind on their road to success.

Here is some of what she said:“

“I am pleased to be celebrating the incredible talent in the room today”.
“The future of fashion is in this room”.
“Today’s fashion icons were once rule breakers”.
"You have to know at the outset who you are and what you are.”
“Be yourself. Be your boldest, out- of- the- box self”.
“The ones most self assured, most focused, are the ones who make it. This is not a time to play it safe. Play it smart”.
“Challenge us, inspire us, surprise us. Get in our faces.”
“Never underestimate the power of fashion. It is a reflection of our culture and our times. Be daring. Be bold. Make fashion history.”

This is a list of the award presenters, nominees, and the winners in each of the 8 categories:

Katherine Fleming - Katherine Fleming LLC
Robin Frances Stern - It's About Time
Shai Levy - Seventy Eight Percent
Adriana Castro - Adriana Castro
Cornelia Petronis - Mark
Amanda Brotman - Amanda Pearl, LLC

Winner: Amanda Pearl Brotman, Amanda Pearl, LLC.

Beauty/Fragrance Corporate
Award Presenter: JANE LARKWORTHY
Jaclyn Rebecca Davis - MAC Cosmetics
Jerome Roux - Coty Prestige
Irina Burlakova - Givaudan Fragrances Corp.
Juliette Karagueuzoglou – IFF (International Flavors & Fragrances)

Winner: Juliette Karagueuzoglou, IFF

Beauty/Fragrance Entrepreneur:
Award Presenter: FREDERIC FEKKAI
Lisa Hoffman - Lisa Hoffman Beauty
Danny Seo - Wholearth Beauty and Bath
Janet League- Katzin - Sphatika International, LLC
Matthew Malin & Andrew Goetz - MALIN + GOETZ
Frederick Bouchardy - Joya LLC

Winner: Janet League-Katzin-Sphatika International, LLC.

Home/Interior Design:
Award Presenter: CLODAGH
Dror Benshetrit - Dror
Luke Vahle - Fifth Season Design
Joey Roth - Joey Roth
Shawn Henderson - Shawn Henderson

Winner: Dror Benshetrit-Dror

Fine Jewelry:
Monica Rich Kosann - Monica Rich Kosann
Nina Basharova - Nina Basharova Jewelry Design
Visnja Brdar - Visnja Jewels
Kelly Amorim - Carla Amorim Jewelry

Winner: Monica Rich Kosann-Monica Rich Kosann

Men's Apparel:
Award Presenter: ROBERT BRYAN
Anthony Keegan & Richard Christiansen - Commonwealth Utilities
Paul Marlow - Loden Dager
Loris Diran - Loris Diran
Stefan Dahlkvist, Simen Staalnacke & Peder Borresen -
Moods of Norway International

Winner: Anthony Keegan & Richard Christiansen-Commonwealth Utilities

Award Presenter: BETH BUCCINI
John Bartlett - John Bartlett
Edward Chai & Paul Birardi - ODIN New York
Helena Greene - Swing Concept Shop
Barbara Moore - B. Moore Design, Inc.
Alexandra Galgano - Charm and Chain

Winner: Edward Chai & Paul Birardi- Odin, New York

Women's RTW:
Joseph Altuzarra - Altuzarra
Bibhu Mohapatra - Bibhu Mohapatra
Carly Cushnie & Michelle Ochs - Cushnie et Ochs
Matthew Ames - Matthew Ames
Michael Angel - Michael Angel
Nima Taherzadeh - NIMA
Peter Hidalgo - Peter Hidalgo
Prabal Gurung - Prabal Gurung
Brigitte Schwenner - Sievering LLC

Winners (It was a tie): Joseph Altuzarra-Altuzarra; Peter Hidalgo- Peter Hidalgo

-Marilyn Kirschner

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Friday, January 30, 2009

On the ‘Rise’

Fashion Group International presented its 12th Annual Rising Star Awards yesterday, sponsored by Bebe and InStyle, at the Rainbow Room (with those breathtaking views). In her welcoming address, Margaret Hayes, President, The Fashion Group International, stated that Eight Rising Stars (eight “outstanding individuals”), are “recognized for their innovation, creativity, and accomplishments”. The 90 – 100 nominees are selected by approximately 100 people (FGI members) who vote, using a “numbered scale” and the winners are chosen by their “numerical score”. Ms. Hayes pointed out that the vote “represents a microcosm of the consuming public” and as such, is a good barometer of “future success”. She also added, “You are all to be commended” for this is a “unique, distinctly difficult economic climate.”

Speaking of which, it was noted that young Jason Wu, (who has practically attained ‘rock star’ status ever since his white gown was selected by the First Lady as the gown of choice for the Inaugural Balls), and winner of the Rising Star Award for Women’s Apparel last year, was in attendance, giving interviews, answering questions, lending his support and further validating the importance of the Awards (not that they needed validating of course).

The keynote address was delivered by Tory Burch, who won this award in 2005. She launched her eponymous company in 2004 (it all started with a $6 vintage caftan she found in a flea market) and it quickly became a widely successful lifestyle brand. Built around the idea of affordable Classic American Sportswear mixed with Tory’s own very apparent eclectic aesthetic, it has reached cult status, amassing a huge and loyal following along the way. As Ms. Burch admitted, “When I won this Award 4 years ago, it was one of the break through moments of our business” but she also warned the nominees that today’s climate represents a “bigger challenge than ever for those opening up their own businesses”. She even admitted that early on, she kept asking herself, “Does the world really need another fashion company?” But as she quickly found out, apparently it did.

Her list of the most important qualities that must be present in order for one to be successful:

“You need confidence and a strong point of view”
“You must have a complete vision, a strong sense of what the product will look like from the packaging to the furnishings (every detail must be precise and perfect)”
“It’s all about the product; you must focus on the product (“in this climate, that will be even more and more important”)
“I always try to think if I will wear a product. If I’m on the shelf about something, it’s edited out.” (It doesn’t hurt that Tory is a great looking gal with tons of personal style, an avowed fashion a ‘holic’, she looks amazing in her clothes and she is a walking embodiment of her collection)
“I always listen carefully to my customers - the women who wear my clothes”
“Most importantly the best advice I got from my parents: “keep it all in perspective. Put your family first and then everything else will fall into place.”

The winners in the eight award categories are as follows:

Accessories Presenter: ANN WATSON
Natalia Barbieri & Jennifer Portman - Bionda Castana
Eileen Shields - Eileen Shields, Inc.
Stephanie Owen - Elizabeth Cole Jewelry
Claudia, Laura, Alejandra Laviada - Pantera
Satu & Celeste Greenberg - Tuleste Market, LLC
Winner: Claudia, Laura, Alejandra Laviada- Pantera

Beauty/Fragrance Corporate Presenter: AMY SYNOTT
Marypierre Julien - Givaudan Fragrances
Juliette Karagueuzoglou - International Flavors & Fragrances
Katie Lucas - Avon Products, Inc.
Julie Birns - Prescriptives, Estée Lauder Companies
Winner: Julie Birns- Prescriptives, Estee Lauder Companies

Beauty/Fragrance Entrepreneur Presenter: JANE LAUDER
Cathy Gins - Aromawear LLC
Jessica Dunne - Ellie D Parfume
Tom Wilscam - Hommage
Janet League - Katzin - Sphatika International, LLC
Gerd Schwarzkopf - PHCP, Incorporated, Professional Hair Care Products/Mensgroom
Winner: Cathy Gins- Aromawear LLC

Home/Interior Design Presenter: CHRIS MADDEN
Claudia Kalis - CK Designs
Jaimie Chew - J. Chew Porcelain
Wayne Ludlum – Vestalife
Winner: Wayne Ludlum- Vestalife

Fine Jewelry Presenter: PAUL MORELLI
Ariane Zurcher - Ariane Zurcher Jewelry
Danielle & Jodie Snyder - Dannijo
Darcy Miro - Darcy Miro Metals Shop
Ivanka Trump - Ivanka Trump
Stephanie Albertson - Stephanie Albertson Jewelry LLC
Winner: Ariane Zurcher- Ariane Zurcher Jewelry

Men's Apparel Presenter: ALEX BADIA
Carlos Campos - Carlos Campos
Anthony Keegan - Commonwealth Utilities
Michael Leen, Matteo Gottardi and Hamid Johannes Mahmood - Operations
Prince Williams 3rd - Prince Williams Designs

Winners (it was a tie): Carlos Campos- Carlos Campos, Anthony Keegan- Commonwealth Utilities

Alexis Maybank - Gilt Group
Hicham Benmira & Brian Cousins - Hollander & Lexer
Alexandra Adame & Nikki Fontanella - The Dressing Room Boutique & Bar
Winner: Alexandra Adame & Nikki Fontanella- The Dressing Room Boutique & Bar

Women's RTW Presenter: PHILLIP LIM
Annebet Duvall & Stephanie Doucette - Doucette Duvall
Gustavo Cadile - Gustavo Cadile
Ina Soltani - Ina Soltani
Christian Cota - Christian Cota, Inc.
Sue Stemp - Sue Stemp
Michalyn Andrews - Trasteverine
Yoon Chang & Je-Won Hwang - Whiste & Flute
Winner: Christian Cota- Christian Cota, Inc.

-Marilyn Kirschner

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