by Karen Alberg Grossman

To match yesterday’s picture-perfect weather overlooking the Hudson was the pleasure of reuniting with friends and colleagues at FGI’s fabulous Rising Star Awards celebration at The Lighthouse on Pier 61. It was clearly a Who’s Who of fashion industry notables and a celebration of contemporary fashion ranging from Rock Star Streetwear to Boldly Creative to Hollywood Glamour to Classic Elegance. 

PHOTO ABOVE: Christian Juul Nielsen of AKNVAS and Kerby Jean-Raymond (Photo by Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

FGI’s president and CEO Maryanne Grisz was a gracious host, speaking of FGI’s history: 17 women banding together in 1930 to share resources. She pointed out the power of connections, mentioning some of the many non-profits to which FGI contributes including Dress for Success, Delivering Good, and funding for transgender communities. Instead of flowers on the tables, FGI donated money to a fund for Ukraine.

  • NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 10: Karen Williams, Julie Lamb, Byron Lars, Frederick Anderson, Nancy Volpe Beringer, Nyakio Grieco, Tristan Detwiler, Christian Juul Nielsen, Mimi Prober, Cole Wassner, Betzabe Gonzalez and Maryanne Grisz attend Fashion Group International Rising Star Awards 2022 at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers on May 10, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

The award winners, unannounced until the event, all spoke with humility and gratitude. In the menswear category, presented by Kerby Jean-Raymond, the winner was Christian Juul Nielsen from AKNVAS who launched his brand just three years ago after several unsuccessful attempts. Also focused on the power of failure to ultimately create success was keynote speaker Rebecca Moses, who related her own journey of closing her business in NYC and moving to Italy, not speaking a word of Italian. She commended the nominees for surviving the pandemic when factories shut down and retailers shut their doors. “The two things that keep us going: instinct and passion. Sometimes we have to be wrong to get it right, but we must take risks. We evolve from both good and bad experiences. Everything has its time and its moment.”