The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards Grants to 10 Designers

All 10 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalists Will Receive Grants And Mentorships

The pandemic has caused an immense change to our way of life and how businesses operate, and the fashion industry is no exception. The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, which since its inception was formed to aid struggling fashion designers, continues evolving to address the current challenges of the American fashion industry. This year, instead of presenting one top prize and two awards to runners-up as it has in the past, the fund is offering grants and mentorships to 10 American brands. 

“After an incredibly challenging time for all of us in fashion, especially here in New York, we’re thrilled that this year we are able to support all of our finalists,” said Anna Wintour, global editorial director of Vogue and chief content officer of Condé Nast. “It’s not only a vote of confidence in their talents, but in a brighter future for American fashion.”

The designers receiving the grants and a year of mentorship from industry leaders are: Batsheva Hay (Batsheva), Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta (Eckhaus Latta), Anifa Mvuemba, (Hanifa), Rebecca Henry and Akua Shabaka (House Of Aama), Kenneth Nicholson (Kenneth Nicholson), Jameel Mohammed (Khiry), Laquan Smith (Laquan Smith), Abrima Erwiah (Studio One Eighty Nine), Edvin Thompson (Theophilio), and Willy Chavarria (Willy Chavarria)

This year’s talented group of Fashion Fund finalists is facing an industry in the process of reinvention and transformation. The program’s new format aims to help the designers better navigate and thrive in fashion’s future.

– Tom Ford, CFDA Chairman

The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund was founded after the September 11 attacks to help emerging American design talent. In continuing with the spirit of finding ways to give back, the CFDA and Vogue felt they needed to rethink the Fashion Fund to better serve the fashion community in the strongest way possible. The impact of COVID has left independent labels struggling. These welcomed funds paired with the advice of other designers and retailers could be the catalyst to help these young businesses succeed.

Last year, the CFDA and Vogue also launched A Common Thread, a grant program that raised more than $4 million to support American fashion businesses. Applicants and recipients of A Common Thread were invited to apply for 2021’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, as were past CFDA/Vogue finalists and emerging designers. 

Over the past 18 years, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund has awarded prizes and mentorship to emerging talents who would become some of the most exciting designers in American fashion, including Altuzarra, Rodarte, Prabal Gurung, Proenza Schouler, and Phillip Lim.

The members of the 2021 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Selection Committee were Anna Wintour, Chioma Nnadi, & Mark Holgate (Vogue), Aurora James (Brother Vellies & 15 Percent Pledge), Eva Chen (Instagram), Paloma Elsesser (Model & Activist), Roopal Patel (Saks Fifth Avenue), Sam Lobban (Nordstrom), Steven Kolb (CFDA), and Tom Ford (Tom Ford International).


Batsheva Hay


Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta


Anifa Mvuemba


Rebecca Henry and Akua Shabaka


Kenneth Nicholson


Jameel Mohammed


LaQuan Smith


Abrima Erwiah


Edvin Thompson


Willy Chavarria