The Fashion Group International held their 11th Annual Rising Star Awards at a new venue yesterday and The Rainbow Room was the perfect locale for the awards luncheon as it has gained considerable momentum and notoriety in recent years. The 420 – plus crowd was wowed by the glam new setting so much so that they chose to linger over the cocktail hour (the Bellinis were a huge hit) but once inside, the awards and award winners were the main attraction.

FGI’s president Margaret Hayes moved things along at a good pace so guests could enjoy the lunch, gain pearls of wisdom from keynote speaker and newly minted best selling author Cathie Black (“Dress for the job want, not the job you have”), the hear the presenters sing the praises of each finalist in the categories and enjoy the refreshingly brief remarks of the winners.

Women’s RTW winner Jason Wu seemed as happy to have a chance to eat “real food” as he was to be named winner over the impressive finalists Joshua Robert Hupper and Miyako Nakamura for Adept, Alexander Wang, Christian Cota, Gustavo Cadile, Josh Goot, Phillipe and David Blond (The Blonds) and Tia Cibani for Ports 1961. He wrapped things up nicely when he said, “I can’t think a better way to go into Fashion Week.”


This year’s winners were:

Women’s RTW: Jason Wu; Presenter: Peter Som
Men’s Apparel: Hisham Oumlil; Presenter: Michael Bastian
Retail: Charles Nolan; Presenter: Eugenia Ulasewicz
Accessories: Kara Ross; Presenter: Holly Dunlap
Beauty/Fragrance Corporate: Natasha Cote/Givaudan Fragrances; Presenter: Donna Kalajian Lagani
Beauty/Fragrance Entrepreneur: Francesco Clark/Clark’s Botanicals; Presenter: Charla Krupp
Home/ Interior Design: Gilles-Fleur Boutry for Clodaugh Design; Presenter: Eric Villency
Fine Jewelry: Christine J. Brandt; Presenter: Temple St. Clair

The Rising Star Awards were sponsored by Cosmopolitan and Bebe, who used the occasion to introduce actress turned designer Tara Subkoff as their first design collaborator to the crowd. The company will be launching Tara Subkoff for Bebe in all their stores next month. A far cry from her Imitation of Christ gig, Subkoff is happy to design “sexy, wearable clothes” for the masses she says. The actress-turned-designer turned up in one of the dresses from the line, a flirty number dotted with hearts (“I love them, they’re so eighties!”) that will retail for $129. “I was excited about designing for all body types and different women” says Subkoff. “Fashion should be accessible and it should be fun.” She says she’s putting care packages together for her friends Reese Witherspoon, Kate Hudson and Scarlett Johansson so expect these sure to sell out items on the pages of People and Us Weekly any day.



Ernest Schmatolla is publisher of Lookonline since 1994. It is the longest running fashion site on the Internet.

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