Finalists for 2nd annual Best New Menswear Designers announced
GQ announced the finalists for the second annual Best New Menswear Designers in America project, an initiative started in collaboration with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).
The competitive effort recognizes the rising stars of American men's fashion design. The six designers were selected as finalists by GQ creative director Jim Moore and the magazine's fashion department, and each will be featured in the February 2009 issue. A panel of industry experts, including GQ editor-in-chief Jim Nelson, American menswear designer Thom Browne, and CFDA executive director Steven Kolb, will determine the winner.
"We had such a tremendous response from last year's competition, and were so happy with the success of that first collaboration, that we're excited and determined to build on it," said GQ's Jim Nelson. "It helps that the field of promising new talent is very strong out there, as vibrant as we've ever seen it."
The six finalists selected by GQ are:
• Benjamin Bixby (Andre Benjamin, designer)
• Robert Geller (Robert Geller, designer)
• Rogues Gallery (Alex Carleton, designer)
• Save Khaki (David Mullen, designer)
• Shipley & Halmos (Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos, designers)
• Yigal Azrouel (Yigal Azrouel, designer)
As part of the selection process, the designers will each present a selection of looks from their 2009 fall collections at a special event in New York City on the evening of February 11, 2009.
"I am inspired by the creativity of this year's finalists," commented the CFDA's Steven Kolb. "Now more than ever, GQ's support of and investment in young talent is needed and will help propel the continued growth and stability of the American menswear market. I am grateful that Levi's and Bloomingdale's have joined our efforts to honor this group of designers."
The winning designer will receive a $50,000 cash prize and the opportunity to create a limited-edition "capsule" collection for the Levi's brand. The special collection will enjoy an exclusive month-long debut at several Bloomingdale's locations in the fall, and will also be available on Levi.com. The winner will take part in a mentoring program led by GQ, the Levi's brand, and Bloomingdale's. A select item or outfit from the winning designer's collection for Levi's will be featured in the September 2009 issue of GQ.
"The Levi's brand has a long history of supporting emerging American design talent," added Steve Evans, vice president of merchandising for the Levi's brand. "After all, it was the pioneering, innovative spirit of Levi Strauss that led to the invention of an American fashion icon - the original, button-fly 501 jean. We're excited to continue in this tradition by partnering with GQ and Bloomingdale's to celebrate the innovation of a new generation of American menswear designers."
The panel of industry experts who will select the 2009 winner consists of: Thom Browne, American menswear designer; Steve Evans, the Levi's brand vice president of merchandising; Kevin Harter, Bloomingdale's vice president of fashion direction; Steven Kolb, CFDA executive director; Jim Moore, GQ creative director; and Jim Nelson, GQ editor-in-chief. The final selection will be made by consensus at a meeting of the selection panel that will take place in February 2009.
The Council of Fashion Designers of America, Inc. is a not-for-profit trade association whose membership consists of more than 300 of America's foremost fashion and accessory designers.
Council of Fashion Designers of America