In addition to monetary prizes, the winner and runners-up of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund each year receive mentoring from industry leaders. Previous recipients have touted the benefits of such tutelage -- Alexander Wang speaks highly of his mentor, Diane von Furstenberg, while Prabal Gurung has been known to gush about mentor Carolina Herrera. The 2011 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund honorees, as it turns out, will have some impressive industry heavyweights on whom to rely for advice in the coming year.
WWD recently announced this year's spate of mentors as follows: Winner Joseph Altuzarra will be mentored by Calvin Klein president and chief executive officer Tom Murry (we predict lessons in monetizing Altuzarra's slinky, sexy collections). The runner-up designers behind Creatures of the Wind, Shane Gabier and Chris Peter, will be mentored by another design duo: Rag & Bone designers David Neville and Marcus Wainwright. Lastly, runner-up Pamela Love will be mentored by Harry Winston president and CEO Frédéric de Narp.
Interestingly, this season only two of the honorees will be under the mentoring eye of a fellow designer, but rather industry leaders in more executive roles. The move certainly illustrates the importance of business in fashion -- typically the side of the company with which even the most talented designers need help as they attempt to grow their brands.