Announced at a star-studded gala dinner held at Brooklyn’s The Weylin following a conversation between Hamish Bowles and Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri, Telfar Clemens’ label shared the limelight with two runner-ups: Becca McCharen-Tran’s Chromat, founded in 2010, and Ahlem Manai-Platt’s Ahlem, founded in 2014.
Telfar took home the top prize of $400,000, while Chromat and Ahlem’s award amounted to $150,000 each. As well as the prize money, the winners also receive mentoring from an industry figure of their choosing.
Telfar’s androgynous designs, Chromat’s architectural swimwear and Ahlem’s sleek eyewear were crowned winners by a panel of judges which this year included Nicole Phelps, director of Vogue Runway; Eva Chen, head of fashion partnerships at Instagram; 2011 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner Joseph Altuzarra and Saks Fifth Avenue senior vice president and fashion director Roopal Patel. Returning judges included Steven Kolb, Diane von Furstenberg, Mark Holgate, Jeffrey Kalinsky and Andrew Rosen. This is the first year since the design competition's inception in 2003 that Anna Wintour has been absent from the committee
The celebrity line-up on the night remains strong, with the likes of Arizona Muse, Hilary Rhoda and Karlie Kloss leading the way on the red carpet. Preceding the awards themselves, this year’s Chateau Marmont designer showcase was equally starry, with Kaia Gerber, Zendaya and Millie Bobby Brown in attendance.
This year's finalists included Christopher Bevans of Dyne, Victor Glemaud, Jordan Askill, Matthew Harris of Mateo New York, Eli Azran of RtA, Sandy Liang and Vaquera’s Patric DiCaprio, Bryn Taubensee, David Moses and Claire Sully.