The recipients of the winemaker's annual Fashion Foundation awards are Elise Overland, Alexander Wang, Réyes by José Ramón Reyes, Lyell by Emma Fletcher and Wayne by Wayne D. Lee in the women's wear category, and Loden Dager by Alexander Galan, Oliver Helden, Paul Marlow, Matthew Sandager and Melissa Vail for men's wear.
For the first time in its seven-year history, the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation is bestowing an award in the accessories category, with the nod going to Subversive Jewelry, designed by Justin Giunta.
The seven winners receive $25,000 each toward the presentations of their new collections during next month's New York Fashion Week. They were chosen from more than 100 entries by a panel of fashion executives. Among the criteria were a maximum of five years in business, at least one retail account, references and submissions of look books or photographs of their designs. The committee then whittled the applicants down to 25 semifinalists and picked the winners based on samples of their most current collections.
This year, the committee of judges for women's wear and accessories consisted of Julie Gilhart, vice president of fashion merchandising at Barneys New York; Ken Downing, senior vice president and fashion director at Neiman Marcus; Nicole Fischelis, vice president and women's fashion director at Macy's; Sally Singer, fashion news/features director at Vogue; Kim Hastreiter, editor in chief and publisher of Paper magazine; Ruth Finley, publisher of The Fashion Calendar, and Marylou Luther, editor at International Fashion Syndicate. For men's wear, the committee included Jay Bell, Barneys' men's wear buyer; Madeline Weeks, GQ's fashion director, and Christopher Bollen, senior editor for V and VMan magazines.
"The success of the foundation is undoubtedly the result of the commitment and dedication of our judging panel, who year after year capture the future of fashion," Patrick Coyle, marketing director for Ecco Domani wines, said.
The 2008 winners join a list of designers who have received the award early on in their careers and since have been able to develop their businesses significantly, including the designers of Proenza Schouler, Peter Som, Zac Posen, Thakoon, Doo.Ri, Derek Lam, Erin Fetherston, Rag & Bone, Rodarte, Brian Reyes, VPL, Palmer Jones, Vena Cava and Angel Chang.