Primer: Meet the Nominees for The 2012 CFDA Awards

A who's-who guide to the nominees for "the Oscars of Fashion," as well as a breakdown of each label's chances of winning.

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The CFDA Awards are known as "The Oscars of Fashion," and this year's nominees are an interesting mix. Here, we break down each label's background and chances of winning. Pictured here are last year's Swarovski award winners for emerging talent: Robert Geller, Eddie Borgo, and Prabal Gurung.
2/18
WHO: Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler
NOMINATIONS: Womenswear Designer of the Year and Accessory Designer of the Year
CHANCE OF WIN: Fair. This designer duo took the womenswear prize last year, and no designer except Narciso Rodriguez has taken the prize two years in a row. Still, this pair has consistently put out highly acclaimed collections, and they shouldn't be counted out. They are also a CFDA Award favorite, and have four wins under their belt.
3/18
WHO: Marc Jacobs
NOMINATIONS: Womenswear Designer of the Year and Accessory Designer of the Year
CHANCE OF WIN: Fair. Hardly a CFDA Awards passes without Marc Jacobs winning something. The designer has ten wins under his belt, and last year he walked away with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Yes, Marc Jacobs remains one of the most exciting designers in American fashion, but are CFDA voters getting tired of seeing him up on the podium yet?
4/18
WHO: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen of The Row
NOMINATION: Womenswear Designer of the Year
CHANCE OF WIN: Fair. These twins are the underdogs, but they shouldn't be counted out. Much stranger things have happened -- remember when Sean Combs won for Sean John in 2004? Their minimalist, yet lux aesthetic is in line with current European "It" labels like Céline, which aren't eligible for this CFDA Award, so it makes sense that CFDA voters would look for an American counterpart.
5/18
WHO: Simon Spurr
NOMINATION: Menswear Designer of the Year.
CHANCE OF WIN: High. News just broke that Simon Spurr is leaving the namesake label he founded, so CFDA voters are likely to honor Spurr while they still can.
6/18
WHO: Billy Reid
NOMINATION: Menswear Designer of the Year
CHANCE OF WIN: Fair. Billy Reid has been upping the ante as of late (he showed his collection on the runway for the first time in February). He also won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award in 2010.
7/18
WHO: Patrik Ervell
NOMINATION: Menswear Designer of the Year
CHANCE OF WIN: Fair. Patrik Ervell has been nominated for a CFDA Award before (in 2010 and in 2011), but has yet to win. Is this his year?
8/18
WHO: Reed Krakoff
NOMINATION: Accessory Designer of the Year
CHANCE OF WIN: High. Reed Krakoff won a CFDA Award for his work at Coach as Creative Director in 2004, but has yet to be recognized for his namesake line which debuted in 2010. The other two designers in his category (Proenza Schouler and Alexander Wang) have won this award before, making Krakoff's chances that much better.
9/18
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WHO: Alexander Wang
NOMINATION: Accessory Designer of the Year
CHANCE OF WIN: Low. Alexander Wang walked away with this award last year. Also the designer is currently being sued by former employees, so CFDA voters may wait to support Wang until this story unfolds.
10/18
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WHO: Joseph Altuzarra
NOMINATION: Swarovski Award for Womenswear
CHANCE OF WIN: High. Joseph Altuzarra lost out on this award last year to Prabal Gurung, but won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award last year. His most recent collection for Fall 2012 was one of the most acclaimed of New York Fashion Week.
11/18
WHO: Shane Gabier and Chris Peters of Creatures of the Wind
NOMINATION: Swarovski Award for Womenswear
CHANCE OF WIN: Fair. The duo was named runner-up for the CFDA/Vogue Fund last November, and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour really likes them, often referring to them as "adorable." Still, in comparison to the other designers in this category, they have the least defined aesthetic, which could hurt the duo with CFDA voters.
12/18
WHO: Erin Beatty and Max Osterweis of Suno
NOMINATION: Swarovski Award for Womenswear
CHANCE OF WIN: Low. The duo lost out on the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award (their competitors in this category both won), making them the underdogs for this award. Still, a lot of CFDA voters actually own Suno garments, so they shouldn't be counted out.
13/18
WHO: Phillip Lim
NOMINATION: Swarovski Award for Menswear
CHANCE OF WIN: High. Phillip Lim was nominated in this category last year. The designer has increasingly been winning acclaim for his menswear -- particularly the ombre pieces in his Spring 2012 collection. Another bonus is that he is the biggest name among the nominees in this category.
14/18
WHO: Antonio Azzuolo
NOMINATION: Swarovski Award for Menswear
CHANCE OF WIN: Fair. This Ralph Lauren alum has won acclaim for his tailoring. Still, he has very little retail presence to speak of, and is a fresh face even in a category meant to award emerging talent.
15/18
WHO: Todd Snyder
NOMINATION: Swarovski Award for Menswear
CHANCE OF WIN: Low. Todd Snyder was a key part in the development of J.Crew's menswear during his tenure at the company. He left J.Crew in 2008, and launched his own line in 2011. While he hasn't broken through as much as his competitors, Snyder is definitely one to watch.
16/18
WHO: Pamela Love
NOMINATION: Swarovski Award for Accessory Design
CHANCE OF WIN: High. Pamela Love was nominated in this category last year, but lost out to Eddie Borgo. Fresh from being named runner-up in last year's CFDA/Vogue Fund, this is likely Love's year.
17/18
WHO: Tabitha Simmons
NOMINATION: Swarovski Award for Accessory Design
CHANCE OF WIN: Fair. Stylist turned shoe designer Tabitha Simmons has broken into the very competitive designer shoe market with her quirky stilettos. Still, her business is based on London, which makes her a long shot in a category that normally awards American talent.
18/18
WHO: Irene Neuwirth
NOMINATION: Swarovski Award for Accessory Design
CHANCE OF WIN: Low. LA-based fine jeweler Irene Neuwirth's collections are available at Barneys and she has a growing celebrity fan base that includes Reese Witherspoon and Zoe Saldana. Still, the CFDA doesn't have a history of awarding fine jewelers and tends to favor costume jewelers and shoe and handbag designers so the odds seem stacked against Neuwirth.
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