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Geoffrey Beene Scholarship Award Winners Describe Their "Stores of the Future"

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    The concepts that won $25,000 each ranged from "a library for clothing" to a mobile shop, and one of the winners happened to be Tony Wang, the blogger recruited by Google to kickstart its internal fashion program. (Published Wednesday, Jan 12, 2011)

    At the 45th annual YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship Awards dinner (try saying that five times fast), four enterprising young students won $25,000 each who developed the most promising concepts for "the Store of the Future." The winning concepts run the gamut from "a library for clothing" to a mobile store with androgynous wares, and one of the winning contestants happened to be Tony Wang, the blogger Google recruited to kickstart their internal fashion program, "G Style." When asked about Boutiques.com, Wang was diplomatic: "It's a great idea … it's just a new concept and it just launched, so there's always more to see what's going to happen. It's a great opportunity to start the synergy between technology and fashion."

    The awards dinner itself was packed with businessmen and fashion luminaries like Isabel and Ruben Toledo, who had turned out to fete the young designers as well as the recipients of the organization's first-ever Future of Fashion award: Cecilia Dean, Stephen Gan, and James Kaliardos -- the founders of Visionaire.

    Upon receiving the award, Kaliardos described Visionaire as the trio's attempt to "live the ideal and live without boundaries."

    Similarly, it seems all the finalists for the $25,000 awards were envisioning a shopping world without limits. Interestingly, nearly all of the eight finalists proposed stores that involved a digitalized experience.