Winners’ Circle: Billy Reid, Karl Lagerfeld, Prabal Gurung, Eddie Borgo
Photographed by David X. Prutting
When Billy Reid, the Alabama-based fashion designer who is taking home the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund’s top prize tonight, was asked on his way into the awards dinner held in New York City this evening what he thought of his chances, he offered up a humble response: “I have to say—and I mean it—I am just so excited to be here at all.” What? No butterflies? “Oh,” he laughed as his wife smiled at him, “there are definitely some butterflies.” The prestigious prize, now in its seventh year, was established by Vogue and the Council of Fashion Designers of America to mentor emerging American design talent, and it awards the winner this year with not only $300,000 for his business, but a one-year mentorship with a leading industry professional to help provide a sustainable path to success. The two runners-up—a distinction that went to jewelry designer Eddie Borgo and fashion designer Prabal Gurung—will receive $100,000 and mentorship. Those in the winners’ circle were also presented with specially commissioned bronze awards created by Rachel Feinstein.
The dinner—which was presided over by key speakers Karl Lagerfeld and Carey Mulligan—drew the likes of Alexa Chung, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Anna Paquin, Christina Ricci, Leighton Meester, Chanel Iman, a legion of designers like Diane von Furstenberg, Tory Burch, Carolina Herrera, and last year’s Fashion Fund winner, Sophie Theallet. The lovely Karlie Kloss, caught up in all the excitement of the night, debated briefly about heading off to the after-party to celebrate Reid’s big win, but then thought better of it. “I can’t,” she said, laughing. “I have to work tomorrow!”