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J. Mendel designer Gilles Mendel won the fashion category of the 11th annual Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum National Design Awards, besting competitors Jason Wu and Prabal Gurung for the top honor, WWD reports. In a release, the designer said:
"I feel extremely lucky to be able to design and am honored to receive this award from such a prestigious and important organization. I'm humbled to be placed in such distinguished company."
The designer will pick up his trophy October 20, with winners in all areas of design including communication, interior, architecture, interactive, landscape, product and lifetime achievement.
Mendel succeeds past winners Rodarte (also a runner-up in 2009), Calvin Klein's Francisco Costa and Ralph Rucci, to name a few. Previous runners-up include Thom Browne, Proenza Schouler, Behnaz Sarafpour and Zac Posen.