Fashion Group International honors rising star winners – WWD

More than 300 people celebrated the winners of Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Awards on Tuesday afternoon.

While success is always welcome in life, no matter at the awards shows, the lessons of adversity and perseverance took center stage at the 26th annual event. Longevity, determination and reinvention were recurring messages throughout lunch at the Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers.

After FGI President and CEO Maryanne Grisz welcomed the participants, Jason Wu kicked off the program by honoring Cole Wassner with the Entrepreneur of the Year award. Several presenters and winners reveled in the return of such an important in-person event. Others focused on how the hands of time had finally recognized the unsung talent.

As Tracey Reese noted while saluting Byron Lars with the President’s Award of Excellence, the honor was long overdue for the designer, who has worked in the industry for three decades. In praising Lars, Reese mentioned how, among other things, he introduced plus size clothing “before the industry was really ready” and spent a year perfecting the fit and patterns to ensure that the customer had the exact “same amazing experience”. as a standard size customer. Actress Lisa Arrindell also helped honor and thank Lars, saying, “You’re never a designer or a man who tells a woman what she is. On the contrary, you are curious about us and you keep asking and asking with love.

Lars talked about relaunching his In Earnest brand and the meaning behind his name. “It’s insisting much more intensely than before. It was really powerful for us as a credo, and also what we want our client to experience.

Several presenters shared their own insights into the motivation, including Elle editor Nina Garcia, who, before presenting the Womenswear award, noted that she presented the same award in 2016 to Brandon Maxwell. Highlighting that the designer created a global luxury brand during this time, Garcia said, “I know every candidate here has the same potential. You are the future of New York fashion ⁠— of American fashion.

Frederick Anderson, winner of the Womenswear Award, warmly thanked the audience. “I really love the fashion industry. I love what I do. I work around the clock to do what I do. To be recognized and to see all these incredible people who have contributed to my life , my work and my vision, and for giving me this award, I am deeply [humbled] and deeply honored.

Before presenting the 2022 Menswear award, Pyer Moss founder Kerby Jean-Raymond recalled how, when he was honored by FGI in 2014, three brands failed after 10 years of trying.

“This group was the first to recognize me after a period of trying, trying, trying and never giving up,” he said. “…like Kelly [Cutrone] said, I’m really excited that there are new people here and sharing in this community. It’s really cool.”

The winner of the 2022 menswear award was Aknvas founder Christian Juul Nielsen, who started his business three years ago, first in womenswear and then added menswear soon after.” to dress everyone one way or another”.

Before Cutrone bestowed the All Gender Award on Stan’s Tristan Detwiler, she said, “There are so many amazing people in the fashion industry in New York, Paris, London, Milan, Peru and Hong Kong. They are everywhere. And it doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter how you identify with your gender, where you’re from or how much money your family has. To be honest, when I entered the game it was very blond.

She pointed out: “If you have something to say and your message is sincere and important, and you have a talent, whether in retail, sales, design, marketing, public relations or whatever it is, you are really welcome here. And you’ll get a front row pass to some of the most amazing cities in the world with some of the most amazing people and the most amazing awareness.

Accepting the Hilldun Business Innovation Award from Gary Wassner, Savitude CEO Karen Williams stressed the importance of helping to support underserved body shapes and ensuring that people who come to the door and want to buy something that suits them, are seen.

“Our opportunity is to make a difference not just with body inclusivity, but for the industry – with all the challenges of waste and returns – and for the environment,” Williams said. The Seattle-based company offers brands and retailers a design-driven, consumer-centric computer vision and analytics platform to maximize fit and minimize waste.

Delivering the keynote, Rebecca Moses said, “Creativity is a voice of the times we live in. Yes, we live in extraordinary times. We need to understand different cultures, different ethnicities, different lifestyles and different generations. Many of us here today have been subjected to different isms – racism, ageism, sexism, classism. The list, unfortunately, is long, we must bury the isms that poison our world.

Ken Downing, the presenter of the New Retail award, recalled that in the early 1980s, new retail concepts teased models’ hair and screen-printed a designer’s name on glass. “Wow – how far we’ve come now,” he said.

Nyakio Grieco from Thirteen Lune and Nancy Volpe Beringer from The Vault by Volpe Beringer shared the New Retail award. Grieco talked about how she decided to create more space for black and brown beauty founders who create products for everyone. With 157 brands, Thirteen Lune now opens 600 concept stores. Beringer explained that “no matter your ability or disability, you have the same right to use fashion and accessible fashion to express your individuality.”

Diesel’s Andrea Rosso presented the Diesel Sustainability Award to Mimi Prober, who started her brand to work with the people a lot of fashion doesn’t know, like those on farms, in the production of textiles and the development of natural dyes, lace makers, hand weavers and garment production. . “I hope this industry will continue to work to support them and make sure the craftsmanship and all of those things aren’t forgotten,” she said.

Presenter Freddie Leiba reminded the crowd of the importance of curiosity and knowledge and how “a good dose of good manners helps”. He awarded the Accessories prize to Betzabe Gonzalez de Mia Becar. Keira Moore announced that the Beauty winner was Mantas Butkus from Moerie, who was unable to attend.

Graff North America President and CEO Marc Hruschka told attendees how passionate the company’s 82-year-old founder still is and how he was fired three times before becoming successful. Hruschka presented the Haute Joaillerie prize to Julie Lamb.

Luz W. German