16 Designers Across 4 Categories In Running For Lucrative Grant
The non-profit Fashion Trust U.S. revealed its 2024 awards finalists this week. The organization supports emerging American design talent through mentoring and grants of up to $200,000.
Across categories like ready-to-wear, jewelry, accessories, and graduates, 16 finalists have the chance to pitch their brands to a judging panel on April 9th. Six winners will be chosen at a glitzy ceremony that evening in Los Angeles.
Notable finalists include New York-based brand Batsheva, LA-based Harbison Studio, and eveningwear designer Jackson Wiederhoeft. Several sustainable and inclusive labels were also cut, reflecting Fashion Trust’s values.
Focus On Nurturing Overlooked Creatives In The U.S.
British founder Tania Fares established Fashion Trust in 2011 under the British Fashion Council. She has since brought the concept stateside with Fashion Trust U.S., launched in 2022.
The goal is to nurture overlooked American talent, particularly entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds. Winners receive both funding and guidance to grow their businesses.
This year’s applicants jumped to 600 from 300 last year, speaking to the program’s rising profile. The star-studded 2023 event brought out top names like Ciara and Olivia Wilde.
Judging Process And Awards Criteria Centered On Impact
A panel of fashion insiders like Laura Brown and Tan France select the winners, alongside the Google mentorship initiative members.
Both U.S. citizens and non-citizens qualify, but brands must employ American workers and be based stateside for two to seven years. The size of grants corresponds to factors like turnover and needs.
Ultimately, Fashion Trust aims to empower designers to drive creativity, sustainability, and inclusion nationwide. As in the fashion world itself, representation matters behind the seams.