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August 31 2014

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Wine for Breakfast with Ecco Domani

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Nine thirty may seem a little early for a wine tasting. But winemaker Ecco Domani had to serve a little something (specifically, its new Blue Moscato) to toast the winners of its 2013 Fashion Foundation awards. Yesterday morning, the likes of fashion consultant Julie Gilhart, Neiman Marcus’ Ken Downing, and Paper‘s Kim Hastreiter (all of whom helped select this year’s honorees) gathered at the Museum of Arts and Design to fete TOME (designed by Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin), Ian Velardi, Deborah Pagani, and Susan Woo. Each of the emerging brands and designers took home a $25,000 grant to fund their upcoming Fall presentations at New York fashion week. “There was an exceptional group this year,” said judge Sally Singer, who cited women’s wear label TOME as particularly impressive. “These prizes are intended to support and reward emerging talent, and this really was a new-wave kind of year.”

This year’s designers join the ranks of previous winners like Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang, Zac Posen, and Prabal Gurung. The latter attended today’s breakfast as a guest speaker. “When you look at the people who have won in the past, it’s not only a huge boost of confidence, it confirms working this hard has been worth it,” said Woo, winner of the Sustainable Design category. Menswear winner Ian Velardi, who will show his collection for the first time at New York fashion week, echoed the sentiment, saying, “This is probably one of the greatest accomplishments in my life, let alone my career.” How does Gurung feel the award affected his career trajectory? “It changed the landscape of my business early on by simply getting people to notice who I was,” the designer told Style.com. The EDFF alum, who debuts his capsule collection for Target next week, did not leave without offering the rookies some sage advice: “Have the vision of where you want to go but don’t lose sight of where you are. Be present and dare to dream.”

Photos: Andy Kropa/ Getty Images

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