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

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.


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