We know, we know. Fashion is sometimes so erratic that keeping on top of the who's who and what's what is a tough task. And we understand, what with day jobs and less money-squandering hobbies, staying up-to-date on what or who's considered the "New Black" can get a little exhausting. But sometimes, the good really is that great, and the talent really is worth taking note. Seven years ago, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund was created to highlight standout designers and give them a chance to continue shining and growing. On Monday, Vogue announced this year's 10 golden children. We break down the finalists for you here.
Joseph Altuzarra, of Altuzarra
Bio: The 26 year old Parisian-turned-New-Yorker wunderkind who, after graduating from Swarthmore College with a major in Art History in '05, worked with Marc Jacobs, Proenza Scouler, and Givenchy, and then launched his own label in '08.
Claim to Fame: Karolina Kurkova donning an other-wordly Altuzarra dress at the Costume Institute's American Woman Gala.
Fan-club: Carine Roitfeld, Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, Vanessa Traina.
Secret Power: His mastery of duality—hard/soft, unfussy/sultry, masculine/femenine, avant-garde/practical.
Bio: This NYC jewelry designer who, after debuting his first collection in spring 2009 with 3.1 Phillip Lim, has continued to create pieces that would incur a slew of airport liabilities for its wearers.
Claim to Fame: Menacing jewelry equipped with spikes and sharper-than-sharp edges.
Fan-club: Kate Lanphear, Lauren Santo Domingo, Vanessa Traina, Alexa Chung, Diane Kruger, Rihanna, Keegan Singh (Borgo's main squeeze)
Secret Power: A new ad campaign with the always-fierce La Lanphear.
Bio: Mexican-born Cota won the Fashion Group International's Rising Star Award in 2009, and has since shown a wide range of versatility in his designs.
Claim to Fame: Carrie Underwood accepted her award at the 2010 People's Choice Awards in a black and white netted dress by Cota.
Fan-club: Selena Gomes, Carrie Underwood, Emma Stone, Taylor Swift
Secret Power: Pop-star likeability and a partnership with CFDA runner-up jewelry designer Monique Pean makes us think that Cota must be close to a victory himself.
Bio: German-born menswear maven Geller is known for his dark aesthetic tinged by feminine, dandyish styling.
Claim to Fame: Winning the GQ CFDA Award for Best New Menswear Designer in 2009.
Fan-club: Jared Leto
Secret Power: Don't underestimate the popularity of vampires! Geller's penchant for dark clothes on pale boys is a power we mustn't underestimate.
Bio: The young Nepali designer with a sweetly wry demeanor ("clothes for a thinking-man's sex symbol" he told Style.com about a recent collection), has a tendency to find his gorgeous dresses on the First Lady.
Claim to Fame: Michelle Obama in a red-hot Gurung creation at the White House Correspondents' Dinner in May 2010.
Fan-club: Michelle Obama, Demi Moore, Thandi Newton, Heidi Mount, Rachel Weisz, Zoe Saldana
Secret Power: Gorgeous draping and MObama's unfaltering support.
Bio: A New York artist-turned-eyewear visionary, Lipow designs some of the most expensive—but truly inventive—specs out there.
Claim to Fame: Designing a pair of ostrich and alligator sunglasses that retail at $3,800.
Fan-club: Stylists at Italian Vogue, L'Official Spain, W
Secret Power: A vast knowledge of history and vintage specs has Lipow designing from a highly informed vantage point.
Oliver Helden and Paul Marlow, of Loden Dager
Bio: A joint design endeavor by two Marc Jacobs alumnus, Loden Dager hints at a totally hip, urban, minimal type of man—with a playful sort of flair.
Claim to Fame: Carefree use of color and relaxed tailoring.
Fan-club: Chris Colfer on Glee, socialites
Secret Power: Their perfectly fitting trousers and button-downs that have a cult-like following.
Bio: Pamela is a native New Yorker who attended NYU's TIsch School of the Arts, and in her assorted styling endeavors for photo and video shoots, realized none of the jewelry quite fit her aesthetic. So she started creating her own.
Claim to Fame: Her gorgeous but haunting hand-cast raven skull pendants and talon cuffs.
Fan-club: Bloggers everywhere, Becka Diamond, Natasha Khan of Bat for Lashes, Julia Restoin-Roitfeld
Secret Power: Love draws her inspiration from occult symbolism—homegirl definitely has some spirituality on her side...
Bio: Parkinson is an L.A.-based, L.A. anomaly (maybe explained by his English upbringing and design education) with not a T-shirt in his repertoire.
Claim to Fame: Designing the bridesmaid dresses at Vogue editor Lawren Howell's wedding.
Fan-club: Salma Hayek, Cindy Crawford, Lawren Howell.
Secret Power: Hand-dyed pieces (and true individual care) in a mass-marketed, mass-produced industry.
Bio: Billy is a praised menswear designer who hails from the Louisiana wetlands and makes clothes with a slightly rumpled preppiness that comes off as more rugged than co-ed.
Claim to Fame: Being named the best new menswear designer in the country by GQ this year.
Fan-club: Whiskey drinkers everywhere, Ed Westwick
Secret Power: Southern charm.