Who says nice guys finish last? Not in the CFDA. This afternoon, editors took a midday recess to Uber their way to The Modern, where the CFDA/Lexus Eco-Fashion Challenge luncheon was being held to honor seven well-deserving finalists, who were all being recognized as innovative leaders in sustainable design practices in the U.S.
In order to qualify for the Good Samaritan challenge, designers’ Fall 2015 collections had to contain at least 30 percent eco fabrics or materials. Judges also examined each brand’s eco-friendly production, dedication and ability to inspire consumers with its creativity. The selection committee this year included FIT’s Sass Brown, designer Maria Cornejo, Julie Gilhart, designer Scott Mackinlay Hahn of Rogan/Loomstate, jewelry designer Melissa Joy Manning, CFDA’s Lisa Smilor and Parsons’ Timo Rissanen.
Katie Deguzman and Michael Miller of Brooklyn-based jewelry brand K/LLER Collection took home the grand prize of $75,000, besting Amour Vert, Blair Lauren Brown, Brother Vellies and Laura Siegel; Reformation and Study NY nabbed the $5,000 runner-up trophies.
“Even being finalists was such a huge accomplishment for us…” said Deguzman and Miller, while accepting their award. “This is how we should be doing business. [Sustainability] really shouldn’t be a choice. It’s the way fashion should be.”
Previous winners of the CFDA/Lexus Eco-Fashion Challenge include Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin in 2013 and jewelry designers Melissa Joy Manning and Pamela Love in 2012.