Yesterday I stumbled upon the Fashion Fund episodes on Hulu. Of course, whenever I see a word “fashion” somewhere, I get curious of what it is about. And I had to find out what is the fashion fund. Turns out, the fashion fund is a real thing that has been in place since 2003 (Proenza Schouler, Aexander Wang and Rodarte were all once a finalists!). It is called the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and it is a 4-month process of competing for cash prize ($300,000 to the winner and $100,00 to each of the two runner-ups) and a year-long mentorship from the industry leaders. What is especially interesting about the fund, is that it could be awarded to any designer: accessories, womenswear or menswear.
The Fashion Fund had 6 episodes available exclusively on Hulu and Hulu Plus and I watched them all! What surprised me is that the show seemed very authentic, it is not done like a reality show filled with drama and gossip. It is a very straight-forward chronicle of the 2011 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. The first episode introduces the selection committee and their selection of the 10 finalists. In the second episode the finalists have to make a 15 minute presentation about their brand and show 5 pieces. The third episode is all about the Fashion Week in NYC. During the fourth episode the committee is challenging the designers to introduce rebellious Red Carpet looks. In the fifth episode it is a Fashion Show in Hollywood, in which all the looks are shown; the designers have no say as to what looks are shown.
This year’s finalists were A.A., Altuzarra, Carlos Campos, Creatures of the Wind, Cushnie Et Ochs, Fenton Fallon, Finn Jewelry, Ohne Titel, Pamela Love, and Suno. At the end it is Joseph Altuzarra who gets the big prize, and Pamela Love and Creatures of the Wind are the runner-ups.
And here is for you to enjoy the list of must-have items from the 10 finalists (courtesy of Vogue):