Important events done virtually are no easy task so kudos to Fashion Group International (FGI) for pulling off such a terrific show yesterday afternoon. In fact, the 24th Annual Rising Star Awards live broadcast was filled with wisdom, dedication, and inspiration, leaving viewers with a real sense of optimism that the fashion/beauty/retail industries are in good hands.
In addition to multiple nominees in numerous categories, 250 students were comp’d tickets to the broadcast. Celebrity guests were generous with their advice to industry newcomers: Chloe & Halle (Grammy-winning sister singers/songwriters) extolled the virtues of women helping women; John Demsy (Estee Lauder exec) said, “Do what you love and love what you do; take the risks early on.” Brandon Maxwell stressed the rewards of a fashion career: “The joy of making people look and feel their best.” Rebecca Minkoff advised “Think on your feet. Pivot. Keep Going…” Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim reminded students to “Keep focused and have fun!” And, Tommy Hilfiger spoke about the growing importance of diversity and sustainability.
Frederick Fekkai echoed the sustainability message: “As we create beauty, we must preserve it.” Dee Hilfiger suggested that young people “Trust your instincts, trust your teams, never rest on your laurels, and take risks.” Jason Wu said “Never stop learning,” and Anna Sui advised, “Stay flexible and look for opportunities in non-traditional avenues.”
Among the award winners: Reese Cooper won the menswear award and Aaron Potts (APotts) was honored for gender-neutral fashion. Look for interviews with both of these talented young designers in an upcoming issue of MR.