Following a grueling application process (which will debut today as a six-episode documentary series on Ovation network), Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of the streetwear-inspired label Public School took home top honors at last night's 10th annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards. The designers were awarded $300,000 and mentoring from an industry leader.
Chow and Osborne met and formed a friendship over a decade ago, when they both worked on the design team at Sean Jean. After launching Public School in 2008, the designers joined the very first CFDA Fashion Incubator in 2010. They showed their first collection at New York Fashion Week in February 2012. Earlier this year, the pair was honored with the Swarovski award for menswear at the CFDA Fashion Awards. Their past string of CFDA successes made them a likely favorite to win last night.
Runners-up Juan Carlos Obando and Mark Alary will also recieve mentoring, as well as a $100,000 prize to grow their labels.
Other finalists included Misha Nonoo of Nonoo, Tim Coppens, the Veronica Beard designers, Commodore Jason Jones of Parabellum, Tome designers Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin, Shimon and Ariel Ovadia of Ovadia & Sons and Todd Snyder.
Public School produces its collections in New York City, at factories in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens.