Fashion Trust U.S. Toasts the Launch of its American Competition

Stylists, editors and entrepreneurs gathered for cocktails ahead of the international organization’s designer prizes slated to be awarded this spring



FROM LEFT: Shay Gipson, Laura Brown, Tania Fares, Tan France.


During a cocktail party held at the rooftop bar of the West Hollywood Edition on Wednesday, January 18, Fashion Trust founder Tania Fares welcomed stylists Elizabeth Stewart, B. Akerlund, Maryam Malakpour, Petra Flannery as well as former In Style editor Laura Brown, Paula Abdul, Jonathan Simkhai, Tan France and Gela Nash Taylor as she echoed her organization’s call for emerging stateside designers to apply for the upcoming Fashion Trust U.S. awards.

Fares told guests her nonprofit initiative seeks out emerging designers for mentorships and grants and has already awarded annual prizes in the United Kingdom since 2011, and also through its Arabia chapter covering the Middle East and North Africa beginning in 2018. Now, she said, the contest is coming to Los Angeles this March with board members Fares, Brown, France and stylist Karla Welch, plus an advisory board including Kate Hudson, Miranda Kerr, stylists Law Roach and Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, jewelry designer Jen Meyer and costume designer Arianne Phillips. Finalists in ready-to-wear, jewelry and a graduate category, plus sustainability and inclusivity awards, will be announced during a ceremony slated to be held at Hollywood’s Goya Studios on March 21.


B. Akerlund.


LEFT: Paula Abdul. RIGHT: Jennifer Meyer.


FROM LEFT: George Bianchini, Laura Brown, Christina Hendricks.


LEFT: Christine Chiu. RIGHT: Larsen Thompson.


British-Iraqi womenswear designer Zaid Affas, who grew up in Kuwait and won the Arabia contest in 2021, was on hand at the cocktail party to discuss his brand’s growth under the organization’s mentorship alongside program director Shay Gipson. Past prizes have also been awarded to Erdem, Christopher Kane and Marques Almeida, and judges have included Marc Jacobs, Haider Ackerman and Naomi Campbell.

Fares announced that for the U.S. initiative, Irvine-based St. John Knits is sponsoring the ready-to-wear award while Mountain View-based Google introduces new categories of sustainability and inclusivity. Other sponsors include Farfetch and Code8 Beauty. In all, Fares said Fashion Trust has received hundreds of entries from American-based businesses and designers for the upcoming contest.


Feature image:  FROM LEFT: Coco Dotson, Ugo Mozie, Breezy Dotson.


January 30, 2023

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