The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) is the guiding force behind the CFDA Fashion Awards (the so-called "Oscars of Fashion"). It also has a fairly new program to help fund, guide and promote up-and-coming designers called the "CFDA Fashion Incubator."
It's only a couple years old, but it has a pretty good track record at finding and nuturing emerging designers.
Each year it takes ten young brands and helps them create a business; giving them rent-subsidized studio space and mentoring.
One of the beneficiaries of this program is the rising design star Jonathan Simkhai.
We had the chance to see Jonathan Simkhai's Spring/Summer 2014 fashion presentation at Milk Studios, and to interview the New York born and raised designer.
A bashful Simkhai told me his business is growing, and he is clearly working very hard.
There was a good crowd gathered at Milk in Manhattan's Chelsea district where Simkhai showed off his handiwork.
He says the Spring woman was "inspired by Mods versus Rockers." He says the collection's roots can be found in the infamous 1964 riots along the south coast of England between young Brits. The "rockers" wearing leather motorcycle jackets and pompodours versus the "Mods'" clean-cut suits and soul-music. The dueling youth cultures set off a societal panic in England.
Back to the clothes though..
Standout pieces included colored leathers, navy and white stories, and some longer skirts. We even saw the omnipresent peek-a-boo tummy look.
A good collection for the young designer. I'm sure we'll be hearing much more from him.