22-Aug, 03:59

18:27, November 08 144 0

2016-11-08 18:27:17
Front Row: Fashion Election: Brock Collection Wins the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Prize

So, I said to Steven Kolb, the chief executive of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, who’s going to win?

“Hillary!” Mr. Kolb said, without a pause.

It was the night before the election. But it was also the annual dinner to announce the winners of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, a six-figure prize granted to a young designer (and two runners-up) who has successfully introduced a label, and been put through a series of challenges and auditions by a panel of industry establishmentarians, including Mr. Kolb. That was what I had meant by the question.

A presidential election is hard to compete with, especially in a contentious year. Vogue, in fact, made its first presidential endorsement, casting its lot with Mrs. Clinton earlier this season.

The tone of the event was very much With Her, from the entree potpies (the customary meal) that had been dusted with what appeared to be paprika that spelled out V-O-T-E, a miniature flag with Old Glory and the Hillary for America logo stuck into their crusts, to the Clinton T-shirts or buttons several attendees wore.

The illusionist David Copperfield, who attended for the first time with his nominated designer-fiancée, Chloe Gosselin, joked at dinner that he was voting for Donald J. Trump, and forks were immediately raised like pitchforks.

“It was a warm-up vote this morning for the judges,” said Selby Drummond, the accessories director of Vogue and the de facto den mother for the 10 designers shortlisted for the prize. “I heard a rumor that Hillary was coming, but I don’t think that would be the best use of her time, this room. I think most everybody’s already converted.”

The 10 finalists come from all over America — a particular point of pride for the prize this year, judging by how often it has been mentioned — and across categories. They are the ready-to-wear labels AREA, by Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk; Brock Collection, by Laura Vassar Brock and Kristopher Brock; Ji Oh; Adam Selman; the men’s wear collections Rochambeau and Stampd; the shoe companies Chloe Gosselin and NewbarK; the lingerie and sleepwear line Morgan Lane, by Morgan Curtis; and the eyewear line Krewe du Optic, by Stirling Barrett.

Spring Studios in TriBeCa was filled with winners and finalists past and present, and a full contingent of sympathetic celebrities and models, including Solange Knowles and Karlie Kloss. Being part of the Fund, said Anna Wintour, the Vogue editor, is “like being part of an extended family, and family is always there for one another.”

They are also there for Vogue, which boosted them. The men’s wear designer Billy Reid, who won the top prize in 2010, had flown in from Alabama to be present. “It was a big deal,” he said of his victory, which he hadn’t expected. “A big deal.”

Before this year’s winners were announced, Zendaya, the singer/actress/bright young thing (and “fashion’s biggest fan,” in her own estimation), introduced Michael Kors, who gave a keynote address tracing his path from Lothar’s on 57th Street to global designer brand.

“You have to make your own luck,” he said, though it doesn’t hurt if Diane Keaton and Woody Allen happen to glimpse you on the street from their Rolls-Royce Corniche and offer Keatonesque words of encouragement about your hat. “In 1978, nothing on earth could beat a chocolate-brown Rolls-Royce Corniche,” Mr. Kors remembered dreamily.

In the end, Mr. Selman and Mr. Barrett of the New Orleans-based Krewe du Optic took the $150,000 runners-up prizes, and Mr. and Mrs. Brock of the Los Angeles-based Brock Collection the $400,000 grand prize. (Each will also get business mentorship.) Even those who didn’t win didn’t come away without some new cheer or a new fan. Ms. Gosselin, for instance, was paired with the actress Olivia Munn, who was wearing a pair of her heels.

“It’s the most comfortable pump I’ve ever worn,” Ms. Munn said. “I don’t know how she does it.”

With that, dinner came to a close, and the crowds dispersed, either across the hallway to the dark dessert-and-drinks after-party, or home to haunt the cable newscasts for the last pre-election updates. The playwright and actress Sarah Jones, whose one-woman show, “Sell/Buy/Date,” was extended at New York City Center, was feeling bullish on Mrs. Clinton’s chances.

“I believe she’s going to get extended, and I got extended,” Ms. Jones said. “I’m so confident, I’m performing tomorrow night.”