Christopher John Rogers has won the 2019 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. As the winner of this year’s grand prize, Rogers will receive $400,000 and a year of mentorship from a CFDA member. The 25-year-old designer, who hails from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and is based in Brooklyn, has become well known for his voluminous evening wear in shocking colors and glittering sequins. Among his fans are Michelle Obama, Lizzo, and Tracee Ellis Ross. “I am so grateful to my parents for giving up so much that allowed me to be here, to my team who, through all the full time jobs and all the leaving early, allow us to make this collection, and thank you to the judges for seeing something in me,” Rogers said in his acceptance speech.
The runner-up prizes of $150,000 each and a year of mentorship were awarded to Danielle Hirsh of Danielle Frankel and Reese Cooper. Hirsh is the CVFF’s first-ever bridal wear finalist, whose brand of cool girl wedding dresses, suits, and accessories has made her a favorite among no nonsense brides like Zoe Kravitz, who wore a net dress by Hirsh to her rehearsal dinner earlier this year. Cooper’s grungy streetwear is on the other end of the fashion spectrum, representing a bit of California nonchalance among this year’s candidates. All three winners received their prizes at Cipriani South Street from a trio of presenters: Ashley Graham, Paloma Elsesser, and Alton Mason.
The three winners were culled from a class of finalists made up of Abdul Abasi and Greg Rosborough of Abasi Rosborough, Alejandra Alonso Rojas, Victor Barragan of Barragán, Hillary Taylor of Collina Strada, Raffaella Hanley of Lou Dallas, Siying Qu and Haoran Li of Private Policy, and Natalie Ratabesi of TRE by Natalie Ratabesi. This year’s judging panel was led by Vogue’s Anna Wintour and the CFDA’s Steven Kolb and included Joseph Altuzarra, Vogue’s Chioma Nnadi and Mark Holgate, Eva Chen, Andrew Rosen, Jeffrey Kalinsky, Roopal Patel, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Elsesser.