The Council of Fashion Designers of America and Vogue have created an initiative to support emerging American fashion talent. The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund awards three designers one winner and two runner-ups with a monetary prize of $300,000 and $100,000 respectively, as well as invaluable mentorship by established designers and industry executives. Award recipients are selected by a committee of industry experts from the CFDA, Vogue, Theory, Neiman Marcus, J. Crew, rag & bone, Nordstrom and Reed Krakoff. The vote is based on the exceptional talent designers have already demonstrated and their capacity for future distinction in the fashion industry.

To receive application materials please email:

Applicant Eligibility Requirements:

  • A designer of demonstrable talent- i.e. have garnered substantial and recent editorial coverage, and have support (orders) from top retailers;
  • Primary design business based in the United States;
  • A minimum of two years in business;
  • Have professional staff, paid or volunteer, which can devote the time and effort required to accomplish the stated aims of an applicant’s design career plans;
  • Request and submit a Preliminary Application, accompanied by a 350-word biographical statement, which should include a summary of the applicant’s design career, by Wednesday May 20, 2015.

Application Process:

Phase 1

Fashion designers who contact the CFDA to request application materials for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund are sent a preliminary application, which requires the applicant to submit a 350-word biographical statement and affirm his/her eligibility. The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Selection Committee reviews all preliminary applications submitted by eligible candidates, and narrows the group to fifty candidates, each of whom are invited to submit a formal application (Phase 2). Preliminary applicants who are not invited to continue to Phase 2 are notified, in writing, of the Selection Committee’s decision.

Phase 2

Each of the invited candidates are asked to provide specific information which outlines:

  • his/her short-term and long-term business goals and objectives;
  • how the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund’s financial award and business mentoring would encourage and enable the recipient to pursue his/her design career plans;
  • his/her existing business, including:
  • current organizational structure (employees/functions filled)
  • consultants, outside advisors and professional firms that the candidate works with
  • his/her current brand positioning, and where the candidate envisions his/her brand in the future
  • Candidates are asked to submit a portfolio presentation containing work from their Spring and Fall collections, which may include sketches, photos, editorial photos, ads and/or videos.
  • Candidates are asked to submit 3-5 references (editors, retailers and one other fashion industry professional with whom they have a close, working relationship) that the Selection Committee can contact for their comments and opinions.

Phase 3

The ten (10) Finalists are interviewed by and make a presentation of five (5) looks from past, present, and upcoming collections to the Selection Committee. The interview includes an assessment of the business mentoring needs of each of the candidates.

Phase 4

The Selection Committee visits the design studios and meets with each of the ten (10) Finalists.

Phase 5

The Selection Committee determines one (1) award recipient (and possible runner/s-up) in November. Upon completion of the award term, recipient(s) are asked to present a formal, final evaluation of the program.

Partners & Underwriters




  • American Express
  • Carolina Herrera, Ltd.
  • Coach Foundation
  • kate spade new york
  • Lane Bryant
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Nordstrom
  • MAC Cosmetics
  • Maybelline
  • Reed Krakoff
  • Sycamore Partners
  • Theory
  • Tiffany & Co
  • TUMI
  • Vogue
  • Westfield