The Vogue Fashion Fund has given over four million dollars to more than 30 design companies over the last 12 years. This year’s 10 finalists for the fashion fund have been announced, and two of the finalists are from the Seaport District, proudly representing the downtown area.
The first Seaport finalist is Aurora James, founder and creative director of Brother Vellies on 4 Fulton St. James gets her design inspiration from her travels throughout Africa.
During her time in Africa, James worked with natives and gave them jobs creating handmade footwear for her stores. These workers use methods handed down through generations to create the styles that Brother Vellies is known for. One type of shoe, from which the company’s name was inspired, is the African velskoen, or vellie. It is a type of desert boot that used to be exclusive to Africa, but now can be found in James’ stores.
The next set of finalists are Scott Studenberg and John Targon, the founders of Baja East. These two men have created a brand they call “loose luxury” clothing and describe their designs as “west coast ease meets aggressive city cool.” Their designs also take a different approach when it comes to “men and women’s” clothing, creating more ambisexual products.
These competitors, along with the other finalists, participate in both design and advertisement challenges, stage a runway show, and share their stories on Vogue.com. The runway show takes place at Chataeu Marmont in West Hollywood, and the announcement of the winner on Nov. 2.
Be sure to check out these local designers and keep up with the competition through Vogue.
-by Laura Seaman