Public School Scores The 2013 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund

by The Daily Front Row

(NEW YORK) It’s a wrap! Last night, Public School’s Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne were announced as the winners of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. The first runner-up was Juan Carlos Obando, followed by Marc Alary of Marc Alary Jewelry in second place. The victors and the duo of runners-up were honored at Spring Studios, culminating the tenth annual Fashion Fund Program. Their fellow finalists included Misha Nonoo of Nonoo, Tim Coppens, Todd Snyder, Veronica Miele Beard and Veronica Swanson Beard of Veronica Beard, Jason Jones of Parabellum, Shimon Ovadia and Ariel Ovadia of Ovadia & Sons, and Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin of Tome.

Chow and Osborne met while working at Sean Jean in 2001. When they both decided to leave the company, the duo started up Public School, debuting their first collection in Spring 2008. The menswear designers have kept at it throughout a somewhat tumultuous path to success: Public School was selected in 2010 to join the CFDA’s Incubator Program, during which the designers decided to shut down their business and redefine their focus. When they re-launched in 2012, Public School based its production in New York and honed an astute detail on tailoring. Their rebranding won them the CFDA Swarovski Award for Emerging Menswear design, and catapulting them to further success with their label. In 2012, Chow told The Daily: “Menswear is definitely having a moment, and we’re just happy to be in the mix.”

Last night’s awards reception brought out the likes of Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg, Allison Williams, Ashley Olsen, Orlando Bloom, Alexander Wang, Grace Coddington, Steven Kolb, Christina Ricci, Zac Posen, Tommy Hilfiger, Joan Smalls, Oscar de la Renta, and Andre Leon Talley. The keynote speaker of the eve was Tom Ford, who was joined onstage by Julianne Moore. Baz Luhrmann was on hand to introduce a film on Wintour.

Public School was awarded $300,000 for their win, while both runner-ups were given prizes of $100,000. Each winner will be provided with a business mentor to help out on the non-creative portion of their companies. Since its inception a decade ago, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund has distributed over $3.8 million in grants to help out 30 different designers and labels. This milestone year is also being immortalized by Ovation TV, which will unveil a six-part series titled The Fashion Fund, on January 22nd. The show, which is more documentary-esque than your average reality show, provides an in-depth look into the entire program, from start to finish.

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