Shop by Google and the CFDA last week had a group of young, emerging designers very excited.
As a presenting sponsor of the Shop with Google American Emerging Designer Award, Shop with Google will award $10,000 to each of the five nominees, and the winner will receive $25,000. Nominees will receive access to the full suite of Pixel products, including the Pixel phone, tablet, watch and buds, in addition to access to the Shop with Google mentorship program in partnership with the CFDA, including training on retail trends, branding and financing. .
Shop with Google’s three-year partnership kicks off Nov. 6 with the 2023 CFDA Fashion Awards presented by Amazon Fashion at the American Museum of Natural History.
„This is the first time we’ve done this,” said Stephanie Horton, Google’s senior director of global commerce marketing. “Shop with Google to help champion new design talent with the CFDA’s American Emerging Designer Award. People are eager to discover and shop emerging designers, and we’re excited to support this year’s nominees and help level the playing field for brands of all levels and sizes.
Shop with Google hopes to inspire the success of emerging designers, and earlier this year Google presented Fifteen Percent Commitment with its inaugural Achievement Award and Fashion Trust US’s Inclusion, Graduate and Creativity Awards, Horton said.
The Shop with Google American Emerging Designer of the Year Award is presented to a designer or creative director who has created a womenswear, menswear or accessories collection for up to five years.
As announced, the nominees are Connor McKnight for Pak Mai, Rachel Scott for Diotima, Tanner Ritchie for Tanner Fletcher and Fletcher Cassel and Carly Mark for Puppets and Puppets.
„I’m very proud. For me, this is a much-appreciated milestone. We work very hard at Puppets, and the recognition means a lot to everyone in my office. The press surrounding the award also creates very important brand awareness,” said Carly Mark, who launched Puppets and Puppets in the fall of 2019.
Mark, who was also nominated in this category last year, said about the prize money, “Every little thing keeps me going. It’s an expensive business, especially post-runway shows, and the bills pile up. The referral amount and potential prize money will cover post-show financing and production costs.
McKnight, a New York-based men’s and women’s luxury fashion brand, said, “I’m incredibly grateful to be nominated for the CFDA and Shop with Google; It’s a real honor. Being a budding designer in today’s climate has its own unique challenges, and all the extra resources help day to day so I can focus on the design process. Both the opportunity for prize money and the recognition will have a huge impact on my business.
McKnight talked about some of his plans for the brand. „I have brick-and-mortar on my mind, and at the same time want to grow my online presence with DTC and my wholesale partners. I’m very proud of the collection we’ve just released, and I feel like it’s all happening at an inflection point for me. I’m looking forward to meeting this moment and growing from here.”
Tanner Ritchie, co-founder of Fletcher Cassel by Tanner Fletcher, said, “We are thrilled and honored to be nominated for the CFDA Designer of the Year Award. It’s amazing to be recognized by such a prestigious group of talented designers and industry leaders.
Brooklyn-based Tanner Fletcher is a gender-neutral brand. The brand was founded in 2020 and they launched their first rtw collection in September 2021 for Spring 2022. These collections bridge the gap between clothing and interiors, modern and vintage and masculine and feminine. This is their first nomination for Emerging Designer, but they are a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist.
Rachel Scott of Diotima, unavailable for comment, is a finalist in the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund.
„We are very grateful for how far we have come in the two short years since Tanner Fletcher was officially introduced,” added Kasell. „We believe this is just the beginning, and we can’t wait to show what else is in store for the brand.”
When Ritchie read the e-mail from Shop Google and the CFDA and found out they had been nominated, Cassel recalls, “There were a lot of thoughts going through our minds. We had our first runway show the day before, so this great news really hit us out of the blue. After about five minutes of dancing and feeling grateful, we thought it best to read the rest of the email. We found that each nominee receives $10,000 from Google. Naturally, there was another cheer and a good laugh at the fact that we had completely missed half the gospel.
„Tanner Fletcher’s mission is to be a leader in transforming the fashion industry in terms of gender and sexuality, diversity and inclusion. So to be nominated from a group of fashion’s most prestigious leaders is truly a 'pinch me moment’ for us. This recognition validates our vision, our message, and Tanner Fletcher proves to be a brand of the future,” said Cassel.
Pak Mai said, “I am extremely honored and humbled to be nominated again as America’s Emerging Designer of the Year. I am very proud to be an American designer and interim member of the CFDA, and having officially launched the collection two years ago, it is truly surreal to be recognized by the industry in this way. As I’m sure my fellow candidates and all young designers know firsthand, this is an incredibly difficult and risky endeavor, and a little recognition and support helps. Additionally, $10,000 will go a long way toward supporting our growing business and the countless expenses required for day-to-day operations and development of the next collection.
The Emerging Designer of America Award was first presented in 1986. Past recipients include Marc Jacobs, Anna Tsui, Narciso Rodriguez, Rick Owens, Jack Posen, Phillip Lim, Laura and Kate Mulleavy, Rodarte, Joseph Altuzarra, Rosie Assoulin, Brandt Assoulin, and Brandt. Maxwell, Emily Adams as Bode Ajla and Edwin Thompson as Theophilio.
„Our goal is to help designers start their shopping journey on Google,” Horton said. He noted that people shop more than 1 billion times a day across Google. “This metric considers queries that express shopping intent. To make a purchase, a person has to visit the retailer’s site,” he said.
He noted that in 2020, Google made it free for brands to display their products on the site, regardless of whether they advertise with Google, making it easier for any merchant, regardless of their size or budget, to be found. „In addition to the free listing, Google Merchant Center offers a number of free tools for brands, including insightful reports on how their products are performing on Google, as well as tools that use AI to help with content creation,” Horton said.
According to Steven Kolb, CFDA’s Chief Executive Officer, “The CFDA and Shop with Google are perfectly aligned in support of the next generation of American fashion talent. The Shop with Google American Emerging Designer of the Year Award will provide concrete support to nominees and winners to take their talent and business to the next level. We are extremely grateful to the Shop with Google team for supporting this important award.
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