What Does the Word "Emerging" Mean, Anyway? 5 CFDA Nominees Tell Us

CFDA Nominees Define Emerging Lead
Photo: Cass Bird

Every June, the fashion industry gathers together to honor the most substantial American designers at the CFDA Fashion Awards. Awards are given in womenswear, meswear, accessories, journalism, and personal style, among others.

This year, the CFDA has introduced a unified Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent, a category that highlights womenswear, menswear, and accessory design. But the word "emerging" can mean so many things, and may even be misleading.

Sander Lak, creative director of Sies Marjan, has had an illustrious career for a decade prior to starting his own brand. Brock Collection, led by husband and wife team Lauren Vassar and Kris Brock, won the CFDA Fashion Fund. Have they not yet emerged? And then there's Virgil Abloh, who, is not only a designer, but an architect, with a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

So what exacting does it mean to be "emerging"? Certainly it is not to be "on the brink", as many of these designers have far surpassed what most would consider wild success. Here, each nominee tells us what the word means to them.

01 of 05

Gabriela Hearst, Gabriela Hearst

Gabriela Hearst, Gabriela Hearst
Cass Bird

Emerging means..."a long road ahead but you're on the right track. I have emerged into trusting myself with a clear vision of the product we want to create."

02 of 05

Laura Vassar Brock and Kristopher Brock, Brock Collection

Laura Vassar Brock and Kristopher Brock, Brock Collection
Cass Bird

To emerge means..."to continually grow and evolve. When we think of our brand "Emerging" we think of the challenges we face day to day, how we have learned from them and how this process will continue to strengthen our brand. But also the excitement and possibility of what lies ahead!"

03 of 05

Sander Lak, Sies Marjan

Sander Lak, Sies Marjan
Cass Bird

"Emerging is a word that holds a lot of excitement and promise for the future - just like Sies Marjan!"

04 of 05

Virgil Abloh, Off-White

Virgil Abloh, Off-White
Cass Bird

Emerging means..."'promise' or 'signs of an impactful future.' I don't consider my work as separate from other generations that is largely self thought and made its own self esteem. I consider myself as apart of an emerging generation of anything"

05 of 05

Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, Monse

Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, Monse
Cass Bird

Emerging means..."Start up. In the process of building an image of the house. We emerged from a start-up with just the two of us running around, to a group of talented team members to run our company professionally. We are slowly building a system that works for MONSE as seasons grow and also expanding our distribution."

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