Brock Collection wins CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund

Selman, Barrett, Vassar and Brock.

Selman, Barrett, Vassar and Brock.

Monday evening the winner of the 2016 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund was announced at a star studded ceremony in New York City hosted by Anna Wintour and Diane Von Furstenberg. Lifetime achievement honoree Michael Kors alongside Zendaya presented winners Laura Vassar and Kristopher Brock of the Brock Collection with the grande prize with Stirling Barrett of Krewe eyewear and Adam Selman as runners up. The winner takes home $400,000 and a year of mentorship from top industry players while the runners up both get $150,000. In what is easily the most grueling process in any young designers life, all 10 finalists faced a series of challenges spanning several months before going in front a panel of judges that include industry heavyweights, Neiman Marcus' Ken Downing and CFDA Chief Executive, Steven Kolb. Other finalists include: Laurence Chandler and Joshua Kyle of Rochambeau, Chris Stamp of STAMPD, Chloé Gosselin, Ji Oh, Morgan Curtis of Morgan Lane, Maryam and Marjan Malakpour of Newbark, and Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszcyk of Area. Vassar and Brock join the ranks of past winners and some of today's most celebrated designers including Alexander Wang, Proenza Schouler, Rodarté, Public School and Altuzarra.

Jim Duran.

Vassar and Brock with son and Gigi Hadid, photo by Gregory Harris

Vassar and Brock with son and Gigi Hadid, photo by Gregory Harris

Maria Cornejo talks Sustainable Fashion

Photo by Daniel Kiyoi

Photo by Daniel Kiyoi

New York based designer, Maria Cornejo of Zero + Maria Cornejo is making fashion sustainable. As an original member of the CFDA Sustainability Committee, Cornejo's passion for changing how we make, buy and sell clothing is unmatched. I had a chance to sit down with Cornejo while she was visiting Dallas for a trunk show at Stanley Korshak for her Spring/Summer 2017 collection. We discussed her new collection, eco-conscious initiatives, and recycled fabrics. Here are our words.  

BLKLN: Tell me about the Spring/Summer 2017 collection.

Maria Cornejo: Spring/Summer 17 was inspired by New Orleans. It started in resort wear with a very bright color palette and as we come into Spring it fades. A lot of the fabrics and prints are inspired by ripped wall paper and tapestry and the diverse cultures of New Orleans. The Creole, the French, the Spanish there are so many layers to the culture in New Orleans. So that was inspiration behind it. The show came as a culmination of all these ideas being distilled into showing in our new fabric, which is totally eco now. So for the show, I just wanted to take all the color out and just show the shapes.

BLKLN: Did showing an all white collection open the door creatively and allow you to play with structure?

MC: It was lovely to actually show the cutting of things. The volumes and shapes in white is almost like showing a blank sketch without the coloring. So you just look at the lines.

BLKLN: As a founding member of the CFDA Sustainability Committee I know that ecologically responsible practices are very important to you and your brand. Tell me how this started and how you have implemented this into your company.

MC: We try with everything. To be honest I am not the post child, but we are trying where ever possible.  We started a few season ago, its always been in the company ethos to try to be as sustainable as possible, for fall it was was recycled cashmere, botanical cotton and now the eco-drape. We work with a women's co-op in Bolivia who does all the hand knitting and its alpaca and is naturally dyed. The shoes are vegetable dyed. Where ever possible we are trying to make the right decisions.

BLKLN: Why do you think it has taken the fashion industry so long to get on board with these practices?

MC: It is hard to do a fashionable and interesting collection and be eco. It's very hard. For a lot of companies it s easier to turn a blind eye and pretend its not happening. You have to take responsibility.

BLKLN: What are some steps designers could take to make their companies more sustainable?

MC: We make about 70% of the collection in New York with the least amount of transporting. Goods and fabrics com e in from Europe or Tokyo but once they are there they are manufactured in New York. We try to keep the process to a minimum. Thus avoiding waste. There are special projects we do to recycle fabric. We use as little packing as possible. It's hard in fashion because a lot of fashion is reliant on bells and whistles. For me its never been about that. Its about the way things are cut and the fabric. I think just try to keep things to a minimum.

BLKLN: How does New York differ from Paris or Milan when discussing sustainability?

MC: I think the Kering group is doing a big push. In Milan there are companies doing a push. People are making a conscious effort where ever possible and that's a good start. The more and more people will do it it will become easier for us to buy fabrics that are eco.

BLKLN: What are some things we can all do to live a more eco-conscious and fashionable lifestyle?

MC: Not dry clean so much. Buy more wisely, things that are not disposable. Its better to buy things that you will love and cherish forever, not just because its on sale, and that is what I love about the collection. I always say the pieces will make really great heirlooms. Its better to invest things that you will keep forever then things you will just throw away. 

The Spring/Summer 2017 Zero + Maria Cornejo trunk show will be at Stanley Korshak November 4th & 5th and in Austin at ByGeorge November 9th & 10th.

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Runway images courtesy of Yannis Vlamos for Vogue.

FENG CHEN WANG, GENERAL IDEA and CARLOS CAMPOS: Three brands you need to know.

These days fashion brands come and go like cinnamon Pop-Tarts. With the amount of new brands that pop up each year it's become difficult to determine the real talent from the shooting stars. Here are three brands you need to know. 

FENG CHEN WANG: This London based label founded by designer Fengchen Wang in 2015, after graduating from the Royal College of Arts. Wang made her NYFW debut during the Spring/Summer 16' season via the VFiles runway show. Nominated for a LVMH prize in February 2016 Feng Chen Wang has been worn by Rihanna and M.I.A.

GENERAL IDEA: Based in Seoul, South Korea and founded in 2004 by designer Bumsuk Choi, General Idea is a regular during NYFW. Stocked by some of the world's leading online retailers including Farfetch and Lyst, General Idea has caught the attention of celebrities and industry insiders alike.

CARLOS CAMPOS: Carlos Campos founded his namesake line in 2007. Based in New York Campos was awarded the FGI Rising Star Award in 2009 and was a 2011 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist. Campos has quickly become a must see during New York Fashion Week: Men's.

Rochambeau Takes Home Woolmark Prize

Big congrats are in order for the boys of Rochambeau. Laurence Chandler and Joshua Cooper have taken home the coveted Woolmark Prize for menswear alongside Gabriela Hearst for womenswear. This prestigious award has been given to designers that have later become fashion icons such as Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent. Joining the ranks of these legends is a huge honor for the young designers, but Laurence and Chandler are far from done. They are also finalists for the 2016 CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund award which is probably happening as I am typing this post. I have had the honor of attending all three seasons of Rochambeau during #NYFWM and it will always remain a must see for me! Good luck guys!!!

Pictured(top to bottom):Top Joshua Cooper and Laurence Chandler accepting the Woolmark Award, Rochambeau SS17, Rochambeau FW16, Rochambeau SS16

Top photo courtesy of Rochambeau. Others by BLKLN Clothing.