Third Elaine Gold Launch Pad designers meet latest milestone
The fellows of the third Elaine Gold Launch Pad have reached a new milestone within the program, pitching their ‘Design Sprint’ presentations to the selection committee.
The pitch process marks the latest phase of the program since the launch pad—a joint venture of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the Accessories Council dedicated to supporting young design talent—announced its finalists in July: Rui Zhou of Rui Zhou, Dana Hurwitz and Maria Pershadsingh of Bond Hardware, Graham Baldwin of Graham Tyler, Shanel Campbell of Bed On Water, and Loren Thomas and Caragh Bennet of Tribe + Glory.
In partnership with the Accessories Council, each brand pitched for a micro grant of $5,000, $10,000, and $15,000 to build their brand and work toward their final launch pad presentation, scheduled for next March.
The CFDA announced that a total of up to $75,000 was allotted for this Design Sprint pulled from the combined total funds of up to $175,000. After deliberating, the committee decided to give each brand $15,000.
In addition, CFDA President and CEO Steven Kolb announced that, “through funding and as a special gift through Valentino, each Elaine Gold Launch Pad Fellow will receive an additional $20,000 to aid with local production.”
According to the CFDA, Rui Zhou plans to use the funds to focus on her production through purchasing machines and developing her fabric, as well as allotting funds to her show budget for New York Fashion Week Fall-Winter 2020.
Likewise, Dana Hurwitz and Maria Pershadsingh plan to use the funds to prioritize website and e-commerce improvements for Bond Hardware, while Graham Baldwin plans to focus on textile and product development for Graham Tyler.
Shanel Campbell will use the funds for materials, production and marketing at her label, Bed On Water, and designer duo Tribe + Glory plans to use the money to optimize their online presence and launch a new website by next March.
The next step for the launch pad fellows is the ‘360 Blueprint Presentations,’ scheduled in March.
This past February, the second Elaine Gold Launch Pad grand prize of $55,000 was awarded to designers Angela Luna and Loulwa Al Saad of Adiff and Morganne Leigh of Tyche + Iset, as the two bands tied for first place.
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