He's cute, he's French and he just pocketed $300,000 -- some might say Joseph Altuzarra is quite the catch.
The money is just part of the prize for Altuzarra, winner of the 2011 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. At last night's awards ceremony, held at Skylight Soho in New York, Altuzarra was honored for his promise as an emerging talent with both start-up money and a mentorship from fashion industry leaders.
As CFDA president Diane Von Furstenberg said at last night's ceremony, "Once in the Fashion Fund, we will continue to guide you and protect you."
The ceremony was headlined by another hugely successful American designer: Calvin Klein. As Anna Wintour remarked in her introductions to Klein's keynote, "Calvin was always able to pluck someone from obscurity and change our perception of them."
That, of course, is the goal of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, which was started in 2004 and awarded its first prize to Proenza Schouler -- and we know how that turned out.
Sharing the dais with Altuzarra were runners-up Pamela Love of Pamela Love Jewelry and Creatures of the Wind's Shane Gabier and Chris Peters. Each received $100,000.
Other finalists included Carlos Campos; Antonio Azzuolo of A.A. Antonio Azzuolo; Cushnie et Ochs' Carly Cushnie and Michele Ochs; Dana Lorenz of Fenton/Fallon; Soraya Silchenstedt of Finn Jewelry; Alexa Adams and Flora Gill of Ohne Titel; and Suno's Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty.