Among the designers in attendance, Ruben and Isabel Toledo, Ralph Rucci, Thom Browne, Catherine Malandrino and Tommy Hilfiger, who arrived with his beautiful, blonde, and towering wife Dee Ocleppo- she looked hip, fab, and quite 70's, in an elongated wine fur vest and floor sweeping patterned pants by Tommy of course. (Tommy's daughter, Alexandria Hilfiger, co designer for Nahm, was a nominee in the Women's Ready- to- Wear category). Sponsors were Saks Fifth Avenue, In Style, Bebe, and Chic.TV. Movado generously provided the awards.
FGI's President, Margaret Hayes, kicked things off with her short and sweet welcoming address, reminding the nominees that even if they don't win an award, they should keep in mind that, "It's not how you win, but how you play the game". She also proudly pointed out that of the 8 presenters, three had been Rising Star Award recipients (Thom Browne, Christopher Coleman, and Monica Rich Kosann). The event was called from 11:15am to 2 pm and the always efficient and well organized Ms. Hayes chided the assembled guests that they had exactly "30 minutes" to eat their lunches (she was joking of course, but actually, the Bellinis were flying, the delicious meal WAS quickly and efficiently served, the awards were promptly handed out, and alas, by 2 pm, we were all merrily on our way).
Keynote Speakers this year were none other than Isabel & Ruben Toledo (FGI's Amy Rossi described the couple as "mesmerizing, talented, and completely engaging", a veritable "marriage of mind, spirit, and fashion" in her introduction). True to form, the couple - who seem to be ONE, almost joined at the hip, and capable of finishing one another's sentences - took turns in addressing the young emerging talent who were being honored. That said, Isabel was definitely the 'star' of the two. Among her wise observations which were made after first acknowledging Margaret Hayes and heralding FGI as "THE organization for individuality":
"Whatever you LOVE, whatever it is you are doing, keep doing it!" "Don't lose sight of what it is you love."Accessories
"It takes more than enthusiasm. You have to keep in touch with what drives you."
"I love THE RAW" in everything. The un- perfected. Love is in THE RAW". "You have time to perfect and edit later."
"Appreciate every stage of your life. You will never be in the same place again."
"For me, time is anything but the clock"
"The mere fact of DOING, creates the grooves that eventually identify you."
"It's important to be self propelled. Trust your instincts."
"Pragmatism becomes your best friend. Learn how to do a lot with a little."
"What keeps US going? With the help of the sun, we shine".
At the end, Ruben said "We want to wish you good luck. If you need more passion, you know where to find us!"
Adriana Castro, ADRIANA CASTRO
Michelle Vale, MICHELLE VALE
Michelle Watson, MIMI & LU
Serra Turker , MISELA, INC.
Katherine Kim, ROMAN & SUSNSTONE
Ron Donovan, RON DONOVAN FOOTWEAR ACCESSORIES, INC
Blythe Harris, STELLA & DOT
Deborah Sawaf, THALE BLANC
Presenter: Rami Kashou
Winner: Blythe Harris- Stella & Dot
Celine Barel, INTERNATIONAL FLAVORS & FRAGRANCES INC.
Remi Pulverail, GIVAUDAN FRAGRANCES
Sue Saadat, NARS COSMETICS
Donna Ramanauskas, ROBERTET FRAGRANCES
Presenter: Emily Dougherty
Winner: Celine Barel- International Flavors & Fragrances Inc.
David Moltz, D.S. & DURGA
Kelly Van Gogh, KELLY VAN GOGH HAIR COLOUR COSMETICS
Kaya Sorhaindo, SIX SCENTSPARFUMES
Michael Sedlacek & Liesa Helfen, WORKER B
Presenter: Maureen Kelly
Winner: David and Kavi Moltz, D.S & Durga
Joe Manus, SHINER INTERNATIONAL
Tamara Eaton, TAMARA EATON DESIGN
Presenter: Christopher Coleman
Winner: Joe Manus, Shiner International
Jessica Kagan Cushman, JESSICA KAGAN CUSHMAN STUDIO
Yolanda Torrubia & Amaia Torrubia, TORRUBIA & TORRUBIA
Wendy Brandes, WENDY BRANDES
Presenter: Monica Rich Kosann
Winner: Wendy Brandes (fyi, Ms. Brandes, clad in a red dress by Stacy Lomman, gave special thanks to fellow nominee Stacy Lomman: crediting her with putting her name into nomination, and dressing her for the occasion)
Tom Wilscam, HOMMAGE Atelier by Julien Farel
Randi Jacobson, REALM BOUTIQUE
Vasken Demirjian, VASKEN SALON
Presenter: Liz Rodbell
Winner: Vasken Demirjian, Vasken Salon
Rob Magness, GROWN & SEWN
Ian Velardi, IAN VELARDI
Luis M. Fernandez, NUMBER: LAB
Simon Spurr, SIMON SPURR
Presenter: Thom Browne
Winner: Simon Spurr
Elene Cassis, ELENE CASSIS
Joel Diaz & Christina LaPens, JOLIBE
Nary Manivong & Alexandria Hilfiger, NAHM
Nara Paz, NARA PAZ DESIGN INTERNATIONAlE
Miguel Antoinne, MIGUEL ANTOINNE
Misha Nonoo, NONOO
Norman Ambrose, NORMAN AMBROSE
Stacy Lomman, STACY LOMMAN: NEW YORK
Steven McDermott, STEVIE MAC NEW YORK
Wes Gordon, WES GORDON
Presenter: Ralph Rucci
Winners: It was a tie between Wes Gordon, Wes Gordon, and Misha Nonoo, Nonoo
- Reported by Marilyn Kirschner