CFDA Awards & Prabal Gurung Spring 2011 at Neiman Marcus

photo Steve Eichner

This past Monday night the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund gala took place in New York City with one of the most star studded turnouts in recent history. Celebs included Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Blake Lively, Leighton Meester and It girl Carey Mulligan. The event kicked off at Skylight SoHo where a crop of young designers were vying for the $300,000 top prize.

photo: Steve Eichner

Karl Lagerfeld, who flew in to hold the keynote speech was of course a highlight. There is no one quite like Lagerfeld to create a little excitement.

“I know I will be star-struck,” Prabal Gurung told WWD referring to Lagerfeld, who was later named as a runner-up for the award. Lagerfeld I am told was wickedly funny and of course stole the show in many ways, including his speech in which he reminisced of his early beginnings with Pierre Balmain.

photo Steve Eichner

But the night belonged to Billy Reid who was this year’s winner and takes home an award of $300,000 and a bronze trophy by Rachel Feinstein. I must say that my twitter tweeps were all aflutter spreading the news an hour before it was announced… which of course had me on the edge of my seat just waiting for the news to be confirmed.

photo: Steve Eichner

Eddie Borgo and Prabal Gurung were named runners-up, each receiving $100,000 and “bronzed egg” trophies also created by Feinstein. The winner and the runners-up were chosen from a group of 10 gifted finalists. And best of all for us locals, you can catch a peek at Prabal Gurung’s Spring 2011 Collection today and tomorrow Nov 18 & 19 at Neiman Marcus, Scottsdale Fashion Square from 10 am-5pm.

The CFDA fashion fund awards now in it’s seventh year was originally the brain child of Anna Wintour and Vogue Magazine along with a board of fashions fabulous to help mentor and cultivate up and coming designers in the fashion biz with both cash prizes and mentorship programs.

The other well deserving finalists included Joseph Altuzarra of Altuzarra, Christian Cota, Oliver Helden and Paul Marlow of Loden Dager, Robert Geller, Moss Lipow and Gregory Parkinson, and Pamela Love of Pamela Love Jewelry.

This year cash prizes increased for the fund thanks to a partnership with J. Crew and underwriting funds by L’Oréal Paris, Nordstrom, Coach, Juicy Couture Theory, American Express, Barneys New York, Appleman Foundation, Liz Claiborne Inc., Lord & Taylor, and Vogue.

Billy Reid joins a group of past winners that includes Alexander Wang, Rogan Gregory of Rogan, and Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough. of Proenza Schouler.

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