Drumroll, please: The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and Vogue have narrowed down the list of fresh faces that will be competing in their joint Fashion Fund program. Meet the class of 2016, comprised of both celeb-approved and soon-to-be-familiar names: Adam Selman (he's Rihanna-vetted), Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk of Area, Laura Vassar and Kristopher Brock of Brock Collection, Chloe Gosselin, Ji Oh, Stirling Barrett of Krewe du Optic, Morgan Curtis of Morgan Lane, Maryam and Marjan Malakpour of Newbark, Laurence Chandler and Joshua Cooper of Rochambeau, and Chris Stamp of Stampd. The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund began in 2004, in an effort to nurture the next generation of great design talent. In what the CFDA deemed a "full circle" moment, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler — the first-ever winners of this prize — announced the latest crop of finalists on Wednesday night. Throughout the year, these 10 bright, young stars duke it out for $400,000 for whoever scores first place, and $150,000 in funding for the second and third place winners. Simply making the cut as a finalist is a reward, though: From the get-go, these budding designers get the support of industry insiders by way of organized mentorship, as well as resources and, of course, exposure. "[The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund] is globally recognized by editors and retailers as a source for new talent and for jumpstarting the careers of important American designers," Steven Kolb, president and CEO of the CFDA, said in a statement. Hey, a Vogue spread introducing your brand, perhaps shot on the likes of Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, is certainly a nice way to get your name out there. Like any fashion competition, this may come with some animosity and drama between entrants, but last time we checked that just made for great TV.
Last year's group featured names that are now very much embedded in the fashion zeitgeist, such as Aurora James of Brother Vellies, Jonathan Simkhai, Rio Uribe, and Becca McCharen of Chromat, among others. Past finalists have gone on to score CFDA Award nominations shortly after their stints in the program. The alumni list includes Wes Gordon, Tabitha Simmons, Dao-Yi Chao and Maxwell Osborne of Public School, Sofia Sizzi of Giulietta, Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin of Tome, and many more of your faves. So, these 2016 design ingenues are in very good company. The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund is often full of surprises: Last time around, for instance, we got the first-ever three-way tie for the top prize. We can't wait to see what's in store for the class of 2016.